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BRITISH GOVERNMENT 
1914-1953 




G. H. L. Le MAY 

Former Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford 
Professor of Local Government and Public Administrations 
in the University of the Witwatersr and, Johannesburg 


BRITISH GOVERNMENT 

I 9 I 4 - 1 953 


Select Documents 



METHUEN & CO. LTD, LONDON 

36 Essex Street , Strand; WC2 




First published in 195 $ 


CATALOGUE NO. 5697 U 


Printed and bound in Great Britain by 
The Camelot Press Ltd., London and Southampton 



To 

MY MOTHER AND FATHER 




ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 


Many friends and colleagues have, directly and indirectly, helped me 
in preparing this book. In particular, I should like to thank Mr. D. N. 
Chester, Professor S. E. Finer, Mr. R. B. McCallum, Mr. H. G. 
Nicholas, Professor W. A. Robson, Professor K. B. Smellie, and Mr. 
E. T. Williams, all of whom gave me their criticisms of my synopsis. 
Mr. Nicholas, and Messrs. Macmillan & Co., Ltd., gave me permission 
to print an extract from The General Election of iggo. Sir David Keir 
allowed me to see the table of contents of the fourth edition of Keir and 
Lawson, Cases in Constitutional Law. The extracts from official papers 
are printed with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s 
Stationery Office. Mr. Peter Wait, of the firm of Methuen, Erst 
suggested that I should begin this work; and I owe him a deep debt of 
gratitude, not only for his assistance in collecting material, but for his 
genial patience. My secretary, Miss Jenifer Nicolson, has given me 
valuable help in preparing the index. 

Above all, I must thank Mr. Asa Briggs. Most of my ideas on the 
process of government were formulated in discussions with him, first as 
his pupil and later as his colleague, during the five years which I spent 
in the University of Oxford. 

JOHANNESBURG. 

November , 195^. 



The most distinctive indication of the change of outlook of the government 
of this country in recent times has been its growing preoccupation, irrespective 
of party, with the management of the life of the people. A study of the Statute 
Book will show how profoundly the conception of the function of government 
has altered. Parliament finds itself increasingly engaged in legislation which 
has for its conscious aim the regulation of the day-to-day affairs of the com- 
munity and now intervenes in matters formerly thought to be entirely outside 
its scope. 

Report of the Macmillan Committee 

on Finance and Industry , 1931. 



INTRODUCTION 


The problems of an editor of contemporary documents are similar, 
in many ways, to those of the contemporary historian. There is, for 
instance, too much evidence of one kind, and not enough of another. 
Trends which seem to be dominant, and developments which seem to 
be critical, in the distorted perspective of the recent past, may well be 
those which will, in the event, prove minor or insignificant. Documents 
— especially official papers, which form the greater part of this collec- 
tion — are by no means a complete record. “We may find many things 
in rowles,” Whitelocke wrote in his diary, “but we knowe not with what 
passion and what earnestness it was done.’ 5 But where the contemporary 
historian, by his own knowledge, and by his interpretation of personal 
motives, may fill in those gaps where the records are silent, the editor 
must leave the documents to speak, so far as they can, for themselves. 

These documents have been presented with the minimum of 
explanatory matter. I agree with the views of Mr. Costin and Mr. 
Steven Watson of those who have “attempted to write the constitutional 
history of two hundred and fifty years in some century — or score — of 
breathless gages, and attached it to the front of the selections by way of 
guide or precis of what is to follow. ”1 This is not a supplement to a 
constitutional history of contemporary Britain, but an attempt to 
collect materials which may prove helpful when such a history comes to 
be written. “Most historians of British responsible government have 
attufied their story to the theme of liberty,” Sir Keith Hancock has 
written. “It might with equal appropriateness be attuned to the theme 
of efficiency . . .” 1 2 I have frried, in making my selection, to keep this 
luminous phrase in mind : and the reader will find, therefore, extracts 
bearing on the way in which the civil service, in particular, does its 
business. * % * - 

There is also a good deal of descriptive matter. It has seemed to me 
that, in passing judgement on developments in government, we have 
been using, as a mental standard, a model which has long been 
obsolete. It is, no doubt, a stimulating mental exercise to compare the 
conventions of the constitution to-day with those of Lord Palmerston’s 
time, and to conclude, therefore, that we have moved deplorably far 
from the classical practice of representative democracy; but it adds 
little to &n understanding of the process of government. The theory of 
British government has never quite kept pace with the practice; but 
the gap betweep them, it may be argued, has seldom ^>een quite so 

1 W. C. Costin and J. Steven Watson, The Law and Working of the Constitution fevols. 
London, 1952), p. vii. 

2 W. K. Hancock and M. M. Gowing, British War Economy (London, 1 9^), p. 88. 



X 


Introduction 


wide as it is to-day. The first task, in closing that gap, is to know how the 
machinery of government actually works; and this collection, it is 
hoped, will be some contribution to that knowledge. 

Although the area and intensity of government action have grown, 
over the past few generations, the State (if this word may be used 
loosely to refer to that body which has the final power to make and 
enforce decisions) has become, at the same time, increasingly remote 
from the citizen in whose name it claims to function, and increasingly 
obscure in its inner workings. It may be argued that the two centres of 
effective power lie in the caucus of the party for the time being in 
power, on one hand; and somewhere between the political executive 
(which is linked to the party) and the permanent executive of senior 
civil servants, on the other. The development of a strict party discipline, 
the provisions of the Official Secrets Acts, and the extensions of the 
doctrine of Cabinet secrecy , 1 are making it increasingly difficult for 
those not in the inner circles of knowledge to do more than speculate 
on how decisions are, in fact, taken. Nevertheless, a study of such 
working parts of the machinery of government which are exposed has a 
definite value if it helps to produce that “intuitive understanding of how 
things do not happen”, which Sir Lewis Namier has called “the 
crowning attainment of historical study.” 

Some working parts, however, are not exposed at all. It is not yet 
possible, for example, to publish official papers showing iif detail how 
Britain was directed from the centre during the Second World War. 
It is difficult to show the significance, at the present day, of such officials 
as, for instance, the Secretary of the Cabinet. War and preparation, 
for war have influenced both the structure of government ani the 
technique of administration; they have also left their mark upon the 
administrative habit of mind. It is too earijV, still, to say which of these 
influences will be the most lasting. 

1 This has recently been extended to strange lengths. It is necessary, for instance, for 
those who wish to read those volumes of the Gladstone Papers in the British Museum 
in'" which Mr. Gladstone’s notes of Cabinet meetings are preserved, to obtain official 
permission. 



CONTENTS 


Page 


Acknowledgements vii 

Introduction ix 

Section L STATUTES 

Official Secrets Act, 1911 3 

Trade Union Act, 19x3 5 

Defence of the Realm Consolidation Act, 1914 8 

Representation of the People Act, 1918 10 

Re-election of Ministers Act, 1919 14 

Ministry of Health Act, 1919 15 

Police Act, 1919. • 19 

Church of England Assembly (Powers) Act, 1919 21 

Emergency Powers Act, 1920 24 

Official Se^ets Act, 1920 25 

Rating and Valuation Act, 1925 29 

Boards of Guardians (Default) Act, 1926 31. 

Local Government (County Borough and* Adjustments) Act, 

1926 32 

Roman Catholic Relief Act^ 1926 33 

Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act, 1927 35 

Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act, 1927 35 

* * 

Audit (Local Authorities) Act, 1927 40 ; 

Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act, 1928 41 

Local Government Act, 1929 43 

Housing Act, 1930 53 

Import Duties Act, 1932 54 

Local Government Act, 1933 58 

His Majesty’s Declaration of Abdication Act, 1936 68 

Public Order A#t, 1936 69 

Ministers of the Crown Act, 1937 74 

Administration of Justice (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 19^8 79 



Contents 


xii 

Page 


Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939 80 

Official Secrets Act, 1939 86 

Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1940 87 

Education Act, 1944 87 

Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, 1945 89 

Ministers of the Crown (Transfer of Functions) Act, 1946 94 

Statutory Instruments Act, 1946 97 

Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act, 1946 102 

Coal Industry Nationalisation Act, 1946 102 

National Health Service Act, 1 946 1 1 1 

Crown Proceedings Act, 1947 115 

Supplies and Services (Extended Purposes) Act, 1947 120 

Local Government Act, 1 948 * 122 

National Assistance Act, 1948 128 

Representation of the People Act, 1948 135 

Gas Act, 1948 144 

Parliament Act, 1949 145 

Regency Act, 1953 146 

Section II. PARLIAMENT 

Reform of the Second Chamber, 1918 151 

Letter from Viscount Bryce to the Prime Minister. 

The Dissolution of Parliament, 1923 155 

- JC" 

; Legislation and Parliamentary Time, 1930 156 

Speech of Colonel Ashley, explaining why a shortage of parlia- 
mentary time rationed the amount of legislation which could 
be allocated to each Department. 

The Working of the House of Commons, 1931 156 

Evidence before the Select Committee on Procedure on Public 
Business. 

A Member and His Trade Union, 1931 168 

The Speaker’s announcement of the resignation of the Chairman 
of W ay and Means . 

Alloca&on^of Time, 1935 169 

Kir. Baldwin’s announcement on the time to be allocated to the 
committee stage of the Government of India Bill. 



Contents 


xiii 

Page 

Procedure on Money Resolutions, 1937-8 169 

Mr. Chamberlain’s statement. 

Delegated Legislation, 1937-50 171 

(A) Speech by Mr. Dingle Foot, 27th January 1937. 

(B) Speeches by Mr. Molson, Mr. Silverman and Mr. Herbert 
Morrison, 17th May 1944. 

(C) Resolutions of the House of Commons, setting up a Select 
Committee on Statutory Rules and Orders, 21st June 1944. 

(D) Specimen Report from the Select Committee on Statutory 
Instruments, 1950. 

(E) Report from the Select Committee on Delegated Legislation; 

27th October 1953 

The Leader of the Opposition, 1937 183 

Personal statement by Mr. Attlee. 

The Dissolution of Parliament, 1 944 1 85 

Statement by Mr. Churchill on the royal prerogative of 
dissolution. 

Committees of the House of Commons, 1945 186 

Statement by Mr. Herbert Morrison on waste of time in 
committees. 

Parliamentary Control of Nationalised Industries 187 

(A) Report of proceedings in Standing Committee on the 
Transport Bill, 1947. 

(B) Report on proceedings in Standing Committee on the 

Electricity Bill, 1947. • 

* (C) Speech by Mr. Herbert Morrison in the Commons on 4th 
December 1947. 

(D) Speaker’s ruling of gth June 1948. 

(E) Debate of 25th October 195c. 

(F) and (G) Reports from the Select Committee on Nationalised 
Industries, 1952 and 1953. 


The Working of the House of Commons, 1946 202 

Third Report from the Select Committee on Procedure. 

The House of Lords in Separate Session, 1947 212 

Proceedings of 13th August and 9th September: speeches by the 
Marquess of Salisbury, Viscount Jowitt and Viscount Hall. 

Parliamentary Privilege and Party Meetings, 1947 215 

Report from the Committee of Privileges on the Allighan 
case. 

Powers of the Hfuse of Lords, 1 948 m 218 


Debate of 27th January 1948, on the Second Reading of the 
Parliament Bill : speeches by Viscount Addison and the M£*qu£?s 
of Salisbury. 

Bbg 



XIV 


Contents 


Page 

Reform of the House of Lords, 1 948 219 

The Functions of Parliament, 1951 223 

Mr. Harold Macmillan’s catalogue of functions. 


Section III. THE EXECUTIVE 

Experts and Ministers on the War Council, 1915 227 

Report from the Dardanelles Commission. 

The War Cabinet, 1917 229 

The Unreformed Cabinet 232 

Speech by Lord Curzon in the House of Lords, 19th June 1918. 

The Machinery of Government, 1918 233 

Report of the Haldane Committee. 

Co-ordination of Defence Forces, 1923 238* 

Recommendations of the National and Imperial Defence 
Committee. 

The Public Corporation, 1925 240 

Report of the Broadcasting Committee. 

The Reputation of the Civil Servant, 1928 241 

Report of the Committee investigating the Gregory case. 

The Legislative and Judicial Powers of the Executive, 1929-32 242 

(i) Evidence given before the Donoughmore Committee; 
Memoranda by the Ministry of Health. 

(ii) The Report of the Committee. 

Treasury Control and the Civil Service, 1931 265 

Report of the Tomlin Commission. 

Local Government Expenditure, 1932 c 267 

Report of the Committee on Local Expenditure. 

The. Headship of the Civil Service, 1942 269 

* Statement by Viscount Simon, in August 1942. 

The Civil Service, 1943 275 

^Speech of Mr. W. J. Brown in the Commons, 28th January 1943. 

Civil Service Organisation and Methods 277 

Fifth Report from Select Committee on Estimates. 

Weaknesses in Local Government, 1947 283 

Report of the Local Government Boundary Commission for 1(^47. 

The Machinery of Planning, 1947 286 

Speech^ of Sir Stafford Cripps in the House of Commons, 10th 
Marcia 1947. 

The (%il Service and Politics, 1949 288 

Report of the Masterman Committee. 



Contents 


xv 


Page 


The Power of the Cabinet, 1950 293 

House of Lords debate on 17th May 1950. 

Cabinet Papers, 1951 296 

Statement by Mr. Churchill on the use of Cabinet papers. 

Treasury Control, 1951 296 

Fourth Report of Committee of Public Accounts, 1950-51. 

Political Activities of Civil Servants, 1953 302 

White Paper of March 1953. 


Section IV. JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS 

Local Government Board v. Arlidge, 1914 309 

^Roberts v. Hopwood and Others, 1924 315 

The King v. Minister of Health, ex parte Yaffe, 1930 320 

Duncan v. Jones, 1935 • 327 

Liversidge v. Sir John Anderson and Another, 1941 329 

Point of Ayr Collieries, Ltd. v. Lloyd George, 1943 333 

Re Hurle-H(^bbs, 1944 334 

Blackpool Corporation v. Locker, 1947 338 

Franklin and Others v. Minister of Town and Country Planning, 

1947 . 34i 

R. v. Tfronoh Is lines, Ltd., and Others, 1952 347 


Section V. THE PARTIES AND THE ELECTORATE 


The Constitution of the Labour Party, 1918 ^353 % 

The Conservative Party and the Coalition, 1922 357 * 

Speeches by Mr. Austen Chamberlain and Mr. Bonar Law at 
the Carlton Club, October 1922. 

Conference on Electoral Reform, 1929-30 361 

Letter from Viscount Ullswater to the Prime Minister. 

Parliamentary Representation, 1931 364 

Speech by Lord Hugh Cecil, House of Commons, 16th March 
1931- 

Proportional Representation, 1933 « 366 

Speeches by Mr. Attlee and Mr. Isaac Foot in the House of 
Commons, 6th December 1933. 

The National Council of J^abour, 1941 3^8 



XVI 


Contents 


Page 


The Electoral System, 1944 370 

Report of the Speaker’s Conference on electoral reform. 

Standing Orders of the Parliamentary Labour Party, 1945 373 

The Conservative Party, 1949 374 

Report of the Maxwell Fyfe Committee. 

The Constitution and Standing Orders of the Labour Party, 1950 379 

Party Field Forces, 1950 392 

Extract from Mr. H. G. Nicholas, The General Election of 1950. 

Standing Orders of the Parliamentary Labour Party, 1952 395 ' 

The National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations 396 
Rules adopted 1947, including 1953 amendments. 

Index 4x1*' 



CTION I 





OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT, 1911 
1 and 2 Geo. 5, c. 28 

An Act to re-enact the Official Secrets Act , i88g, with Amendments . 

\_ 22 nd August 19 n.] 

1. — (i) If any person for any purpose prejudicial to the safety or 
interests of the State — 

( a ) approaches or is in the neighbourhood of, or enters any prohibited 
place within the meaning of this Act; or 

( b ) makes any sketch, plan, model, or note which is calculated to be 
or might be or is intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an 
enemy; or 

(c) obtains or communicates to any other person any sketch, plan, 
model, article, or note, or other document or information which 
is calculated to be or might be 6r is intended to be directly or 
indirectly useful to an enemy; 

he shall be guilty of felony, and shall be liable to penal servitude 
for any term not less than three years and not exceeding seven 
years. 

(2) On a prosecution under this section, it shall not be necessary to 
show that the accused person was guilty of any particular act tending 
to show a purpose prejudicial io the safety ^>r interests of the State, 
and, Notwithstanding that no such act is proved against him, he may 
be convicted if, from the circumstances of the case, or his conduct, or 
his known character as proved, it appears that his purpose was a pur- 
pose prejudicial to the safety or imerests of the State; and if any sketch, 
plan, model, article, note, document, or information relating to or 
used in any prohibited place within the meaning of this Act, or any- 
thing in such a place, is made, obtained, or communicated by any 
person other than a person acting under lawful authority, it shall be 
deemed to have been made, obtained, or communicated for a purpose 
prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State unless the contrary is 
proved. 

2. — (1) If any person having in his possession or control any sketch, 
plan, model, article, note, document, or information which relates to 
or is used* in a prohibited place or anything in such a place, or which 
has been made or obtained in contravention of this Act, or which 
has been entrust^, in confidence to him by any person folding office 
under His Majesty or which he has obtained owing to his positiQji as a 
person who holds or has held office under His Majesty, or as ^person 
who holds or has held a contract made on behalf of His Majesty, or as 



4 


Statutes 


a person who is or has been employed under a person who holds or 
has held such an office or contract, — 

(a) communicates the sketch, plan, model, article, note, document, or 
information to any person, other than a person to whom he is 
authorised to communicate it, or a person to whom it is in the 
interest of the State his duty to communicate it, or 

(b) retains the sketch, plan, model, article, note, or document in his 
possession or control v/hen he has no right to retain it or when it 
is contrary to his duty to retain it: 

that person shall be guilty of a misdemeanour. 

(2) If any person receives any sketch, plan, model, article, note, 
document, or information, knowing, or having reasonable ground to 
believe, at the time when he receives it, that the sketch, plan, model, 
article, note, document, or information is communicated to him in*- 
contravention of this Act, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, 
unless he proves that the communication to him of the sketch, plan, 
model, article, note, document,^ or information was contrary to his 
desire. 

(3) A person guilty of a misdemeanour under this section shall be 
liable to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not 
exceeding two years, or to a fine, or to both imprisonment and a fine. 

[§ 3. Definition of “prohibited place”.] 

4 . Any person who attempts to commit any offence under this Act, 
or incites, or counsels, f or attempts to procure another person to 
commit an offence under this Act, shall be guilty of felony o4 of a 
misdemeanour according as the offence in question is felony or mis- 
demeanour, and on conviction shall be liable to the same punishment, 
and to be proceeded against in the same manner, as if he had com- 
mitted the offence. . . . 

7T If any person knowingly harbours any person whom he knows, 
or has reasonable grounds for supposing, to be a person who is about 
to commit or who has committed an offence under this Act, or know- 
ingly permits to meet or assemble in any premises in his occupation or 
under his control any such persons, or if any person having harboured 
any such person, or permitted to meet or assemble in any premises 
in his occupation or under his control any such persons, wilfully refuses 
to disclose to a superintendent of police any information which it is in 
his power to give in relation to any such person he shall be guilty of 
a misdemeanour and liable to imprisonment with or without hard 
labour for £ term not exceeding one year, or to ^ fine, or to both 
imprijpnnjfnt and a fine. 

8 . A prosecution for an offence under this Act shall not be instituted 
excepffby or with the consent of the Attorr*ey- General. . . . 



Official Secrets Act , igu 5 

9 . — (1) If a justice of the peace is satisfied by information on oath 
that there is reasonable ground for suspecting that an offence under 
this Act has been or is about to be committed, he may grant a search 
warrant authorising any constable named therein to enter at any time 
any premises or place named in the warrant, if necessary, by force, 
and to search the premises or place and every person found therein, 
and to seize any sketch, plan, model, article, note, or document, or 
anything of a like nature or anything which is evidence of an offence 
under this Act having been or being about to be committed, which he 
may find on the premises or place or on any such person, and with 
regard to or in connexion with which he has reasonable ground for 
suspecting that an offence under this Act has been or is about to be 
committed. 

(2) Where it appears to a superintendent of police that the case is 
fcOne of great emergency and that in the interest of the State immediate 
action is necessary, he may by a written order under his hand give to 
any constable the like authority as may be given by the warrant of a 
justice under this section. ... 

13 . — (1) This Act may be cited as the Official Secrets Act, 19 1 1. 

(2) The Official Secrets Act, 1839, is hereby repealed. 


TRADE UNION ACT, 1913 
* 2 and 3 Geo. 5 , c. 30 

An Act to amend the Lavs with respect to the objects and powers of Trade 
Unions . 

[yth March 19/3.] 

1 . — (1) The fact that a combination has under its constitution 
objects or powers other than statutory objects within the meaning of 
this Act shall not prevent the combination being a trade union for the 
purposes of the Trade Union Acts, 1871-1906, so long as the com- 
bination is a trade union as defined by this Act, and, subject to the 
provisions of this Act as to the furtherance of political objects, any 
such trade union shall have power to apply the funds of the union for 
any lawful objects or purposes for the time being authorised under its 
constitution. 

(2) For the purposes of this Act, the expression “statutory objects” 
means the object* mentioned in section sixteen of the T rade Union 
Act Amendment Act, 1876, namely, the regulation of th% relations 
between workmen and masters, or between workmen and workmen, 
or between masters and masters, or the imposing of restrictive conditions 



6 Statutes 

on the conduct of any trade or business, and also the provision of 
benefits to members. 

2 . — (i) The expression “trade union 55 for the purpose of the Trade 
Union Acts, 1871 to 1906, and this Act, means any combination, 
whether temporary or permanent, the principal objects of which are 
under its constitution statutory objects : 

Provided that any combination which is for the time being registered 
as a trade union shall be deemed to be a trade union as defined by 
this Act so long as it continues to be so registered. 

(2) The Registrar of Friendly Societies shall not register any com- 
bination as a trade union unless in his opinion, having regard to the 
constitution of the combination, the principal objects of the combina- 
tion are statutory objects, and may withdraw the certificate of regis- 
tration of any such registered trade union if the constitution of the 
union has been altered in such a manner that, in his opinion, the^ 
principal objects of the union are no longer statutory objects, or if in 
his opinion the principal objects for which the union is actually carried 
on are not statutory objects. 

[(3) Unregistered trade unions may apply to the Registrar for a certificate.] 

[(4) Appeal to the High Court against the Registrar’s refusal to register a 
union.] 

(5) A certificate of the Registrar that a trade union is a r trade union 
within the meaning of this Act shall, so long as it is in force, be con- 
clusive for all purposes. 

3 . — (1) The funds of a trade union shall not be applied, either 
directly or in conjunction with any other trade union, association, or 
body, or otherwise indirectly, in the furtherance of the political 
objects to which this section applies (without prejudice to the further- 
ance of any other political objects), unless the furtherance of those 
objects has been approved as an object of the union by a resolution 

.for tire time being in force passed on a ballot of the members of the 
union taken in accordance with this Act for the purpose by a majority 
of the members voting; and where such a resolution is in force, unless, 
rules, t-to be approved, whether the union is registered or not, by the 
Registrar of Friendly Societies, are in force providing — 

(a) that any payments in the furtherance of those objects are to be 
made out of a separate fund (in this Act referred to as the political 
fund of the union) , and for the exemption in accordance with this 
Act of any member of the union from any obligation to contribute 
to such a fund if he gives notice in accordance with this Act that 
he objecTs to contribute; and 

(b) tbed a*member who is exempt from the obligation to contribute 
to the political fund of the union shall not be excluded from any 
benefits of the union, or placed in any*respect either directly or 



Trade Union Act , 1913 7 

indirectly under any disability or at any disadvantage as compared 
with other members of the union (except in relation to the control 
or management of the political fund) by reason of his being so 
exempt, and that contribution to the political fund of the union 
shall not be made a condition for admission to the union. 

(2) If any member of a trade union alleges that he is aggrieved by 
a breach of any rule made in pursuance of this section, he may com- 
plain to the Registrar of Friendly Societies, and the Registrar of 
Friendly Societies, after giving the complainant and any representative 
of the union an opportunity of being heard, may, if he considers that 
such a breach has been committed, make such order for remedying 
the breach as he thinks just under the circumstances; and any such 
order of the Registrar shall be binding and conclusive on all parties 
without appeal and shall not be removable into any court of law or 
restrainable by injunction, and on being recorded in the county court, 
may be enforced as if it had been an order of the county court. In the 
application of this provision to Scotland the sheriff’s court shall be 
substituted for the county court, and “interdict 55 shall be substituted 
for “injunction. 55 

(3) The political objects to which this section applies are the expendi- 
ture of money — 

• 

( a ) on the payment of any expenses incurred either directly or in- 
directly by a candidate or prospective candidate, for election to 
Parliament or to any public office, before, during, or after the 
election in connexion with his candidature or election; or 

(b) on the holding of any meeting or the distribution of any literature 
or documents in support of any such candidate or prospective 
candidate; or 

(c) on the maintenance of any person who is a member of Parliament 
or who holds a public office ; or 

(d) in connexion with the registration of electors or the selection of a * 
candidate for Parliament or any public office; or 

(e) on the holding of political meetings of any kind, or on the distribu- 
tion of political literature or political documents of any kind, 
unless the main purpose of the meetings or of the distribution 
of the literature or documents is the furtherance of statutory 
objects within the meaning of this Act. 

The ex*pression “public office 55 in this section means the office of 
member of any county, county borough, district, or parish council, or 
board of guardians, or of any public body who have power to raise 
money, either directly or indirectly, by means of a rate. * * 

(4) A resolution under this section approving political objects as an 
object of the union shall take effect as if it were a rule of the uniyn and 



8 


Statutes 


may be rescinded in the same manner and subject to the same provi- 
sions as such a rule. . . . 

4. — (i) A ballot for the purposes of this Act shall be taken in accord- 
ance with rules of the union to be approved ... by the Registrar of 
Friendly Societies. . . . 

5, — (i) A member of a trade union may at any time give notice . . . 
that he objects to contribute to the political fund of the union. . . . 

(2) On giving notice in accordance with this Act of his objection to 
contribute, a member of the union shall be exempt, so long as his 
notice is not withdrawn, from contributing to the political fund of the 
union as from the first day of January next after the notice is given . . . 

[§§ 6 (methods of exemption), 7 (definition of the Registrar of Friendly 
Societies), 8 (short title), and schedule omitted.] 


DEFENCE OF THE REALM CONSOLIDATION ACT, 1914 

5 Geo. 5, c. 8 

An Act to consolidate and amend the Defence of the Realm Acts . 

[27th November 1914.] 

1 . — (1) His Majesty in Council has power during the continuance 
of the present war to issue regulations for securing the public safety 
and the defence of the realm, and as to the powers and duties for that 
purpose of the Admiralty and Army Council and of the members of 
His Majesty’s forces and other persons acting in his behalf; and may 
by such regulations authorise the trial by r courts-martial, or in the case 
of minor offences by courts of summary jurisdiction, and punishment 
of persons committing offences against the regulations and in particular 
against any of the provisions of such regulations designed — 

(a) to prevent persons communicating with the enemy or obtaining 
information for that purpose or any purpose calculated to jeopar- 
dise the success of the operations of any of His Majesty’s forces or 
the forces of his allies or to assist the enemy; or 

(b) to secure the safety of His Majesty’s forces and ships and the 
safety of any means of communication and of railways, ports, and 
harbours; or 

(c) to prevent the spread of false reports or reports likely to r cause dis- 
affection to His Majesty or to interfere with the success of His 
Majesty^s forces by land or sea or to prejudice His Majesty’s rela- 
tions vdth foreign powers; or 

(d) to Secure the navigation of vessels in accordance with directions 
gi^en by or under the authority of the Admiralty; or 



Defence of the Realm Consolidation Act , 1914 9 

(< e ) otherwise to prevent assistance being given to the enemy or the 
successful prosecution of the war being endangered. 

(2) Any such regulations may provide for the suspension of any 
restrictions on the acquisition or user of land, or the exercise of the 
power of making byelaws, or any other power under the Defence Acts, 
1842 to 1875, or the Military Lands Acts, 1891 to 1903, and any such 
regulations or any orders made thereunder affecting the pilotage of 
vessels may supersede any enactment, order, charter, byelaw, regula- 
tion or provision as to pilotage. 

(3) It shall be lawful for the Admiralty or Army Council — 

[a) to require that there shall be placed at their disposal the whole or 
any part of the output of any factory or workshop in which arms, 
ammunition, or warlike stores or equipment, or any articles 
required for the production thereof, are manufactured; 

(b) to take possession of and use for the purpose of His Majesty’s 
naval or military service any such factory or workshop or any 
plant thereof; 

and regulations under this Act may be made accordingly. 

(4) For the purpose of the trial of a person for an offence under the 
regulations by court-martial and the punishment thereof, the person 
may be proceeded against and dealt with as if he were a person 
subject to military law and had on active service committed an 
offence under section five of the Army Act: 

Provided that where it is proved that the offence is committed with 
the intention of assisting the enemy a person convicted of such an 
offencb by a court-martial shall be liable to suffer death. 

(5) For the purpose of the trial of a person for an offence under the 
regulations by a court of sulmmary jurisdiction and the punishment 
thereof, the offence shall be deemed to have been committed either at 
the place in which the same actually was committed or in any place 
in which the offender may be, and the maximum penalty which may 
be inflicted shall be imprisonment with or without hard labour for a 
term of six months or a fine of one hundred pounds, or both such 
imprisonment and fine; section seventeen of the Summary Jurisdiction 
Act, 1879, shall not apply to charges of offences against the regulations, 
but any person aggrieved by a conviction of a court of summary 
jurisdiction may appeal in England to a court of quarter sessions, and 
in Scotland under and in terms of the Summary Jurisdiction (Scotland) 
Acts, and m Ireland in manner provided by the Summary Jurisdiction 
(Ireland) Acts. 

(6) The regulations may authorise a court-martial or court of 
summary jurisdiction, in addition to any other punishment^ to a>rder 
the forfeiture of any goods in respect of which an offence against the 
regulations has been committed. 



i o Statutes 

2 . — (i) This Act may be cited as the Defence of the Realm Con- 
solidation Act, 1914. 

(2) The Defence of the Realm Act, 1914, and the Defence of the 
Realm (No. 2) Act, 1914, are hereby repealed, but nothing in this 
repeal shall affect any Orders in Council made thereunder, and all 
such Orders in Council shall, until altered or revoked by an Order in 
Council under this Act, continue in force and have effect as if made 
under this Act. 


REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT, 1918 
8 Geo. 5 , c. 64 

Part/ I 
Franchises 

1 . — (1) A man shall be entitled to be registered as a parliamentary 
elector for a constituency (other than a university constituency) if he 
is of full age and not subject to any legal incapacity, and — 

(a) has the requisite residence qualification; or 
(. b ) has the requisite business premises qualification. 

(2) A man, in order to have the requisite residence qualification or 
business premises qualification for a constituency — 

(a) must on the last day of the qualifying period be residing in premises 
in the constituency, or occupying business premises in the constitu- 
ency, as the case may be ; and 

(b) must during the whole of the qualifying period have resided in 
premises, or occupied business premises, as the case may be, in the 
constituency, or in another constituency within the same parlia- 
mentary borough or parliamentary county, or within a parliamen- 
tary borough or parliamentary county contiguous to that borough 
or^County, or separated from that borough or county by water, not 
exceeding at the nearest point six miles in breadth, measured in the 
case of the tidal water from low-water mark. 

For the purposes of this subsection the administrative county of 
London shall be treated as a parliamentary borough. 

(3) The expression “business premises” in this section means land or 
other premies of the yearly value of not less than ten pounds occupied 
for the purpose of the business, profession, or tracte of the person to 
be r 6 gjgt«red. 

2 . A man shall be entitled to be registered as a parliamentary elector 
for a university constituency if he^is of full^ge and not subject to any 



II 


Representation of the People Act , igi 8 

legal incapacity, and has received a degree (other than an honorary 
degree) at any university forming, or forming part of, the constituency, 
or in the case of the Scottish universities is qualified under section 
twenty-seven of the Representation of the People (Scotland) Act, 
1868, or in the case of the University of Dublin has either received a 
degree (other than an honorary degree) at the university, or has 
obtained a scholarship or fellowship in the University whether before 
or after the passing of this Act. 

3 . A man shall be entitled to be registered as a local government 
elector for a local government electoral area, if he is of full age and 
not subject to any legal incapacity, and — 

(a) is on the last day of the qualifying period occupying, as owner or 
tenant, any land or premises in that area; and 

(b) has, during the whole of the qualifying period, so occupied any 
land or premises in that area, or, if that area is not an administra- 
tive county or a county borough, in any administrative county or 
county borough in which the area is wholly or partly situate: 

Provided that — 

(i) for the purposes of this section a man who himself inhabits any 
dwelling-house by virtue of any office, service, or employment, 
shall, if tfee dwelling-house is not inhabited by the person in whose 
service he is in such office, service, or employment, be deemed to 
occupy the dwelling-house as a tenant; and 

(ii) for the purposes of this section the word tenant shall include a 
person who occupies a room or rooms as £ lodger only where such 
room or rooms are let to him in an unfurnished stare. 

4 . — (1) A woman shall be entitled to be registered as a parliamentary 
elector for a constituency (other than a university constituency) if she — 

(a) has attained the age of thirty years; and 

( b ) is not subject to any legal incapacity; and 

(c) is entitled to be registered as a local government elector in respect 
of the occupation in that constituency of land or premises (not loping 
a dwelling-house) of a yearly value of not less than five pounds or 
of a dwelling-house, or is the wife of a husband entitled to be so 
registered. 

(2) A woman shall be entitled to be registered as a parliamentary 
elector for* a university constituency if she has attained the age of 
thirty years and either would be entitled to be so registered if she were 
a man, or has beer^admitted to and passed the final examination, and 
kept under the conditions required of women by the univ^rsit^ the 
period of residence, necessary for a man to obtain a degree St any 
university forming, or forming part of, a university constituency which 



1 2 Statutes 

did not at the time the examination was passed admit women to 
degrees. 

(3) A woman shall be entitled to be registered as a local government . 
elector for any local government electoral area — 

(a) where she would be entitled to be so registered if she were a man ; 
and 

(, b ) where she is the wife of a man who is entitled to be so registered in 
respect of premises in which they both reside, and she has attained 
the age of thirty years and is not subject to any legal incapacity. 

For the purpose of this provision, a naval or military voter who 
is registered in respect of a residence qualification which he would • 
have had but for his service, shall be deemed to be resident in 
accordance with the qualification. 

[§ 5 makes special provisions for those on war service.] 

6 . The qualifying period shall be a period of six months ending 
either on the fifteenth day of January, or the fifteenth day of July, 
including in each case the fifteenth day . . . 

[§§ 7~9 deal with supplementary provisions as to residence and occupation, 
the right of those registered to vote, and disqualifications.] 

10 . A person shall, in addition to and without prejudice to any other 
qualification, be qualified to be elected a member of the local govern- 
ment authority for any local government electoral area if he is the 
owner of property held by freehold, copyhold, leasehold or any other 
tenure within the area of that authority. 

[Part II deals with registration. There is to be a spring and autumn register 
of electors each year, to be compiled by the registration officers of each par- 
liamentary borough and county; appeals from the registration officer’s decision 
shall lie to the county court; the expenses of registration are to be divided 
between Parliament and local authorities; universities are to compile their 
own registers.] 

Part III 

Method and Costs of Election. : 

20 . — (1) At a contested election for a university constituency, 
where there are two or more members to be elected, any election of 
the full number of members shall be according to the principle of 
proportional representation, each elector having one transferable vote 
as defined by this Act. 

(2) (a) rlis Majesty may appoint Commissioner^ to prepare as soon 
as SP-ay jbe after the passing of this Act a scheme under which as nearly 
as possible one hundred members shall be elected to the House of 
Commons at a general election on th§ principle of proportional 



Representation of the People Act, igi 8 13 

representation for constituencies in Great Britain returning three or 
more members. ... 

21. (1) At a general election all polls shall be held on one day. . . . 

[§22 lays down penalties for illegal plural voting.] 

[§ 23. Ballot papers may be sent to registered absent voters; soldiers, sailors 
and merchant seamen may vote by proxy.] 

[§ 24. Electors employed by the returning officer may vote at the most 
convenient polling station.] 

[§ 25. Candidates may hold meetings in public elementary schools out of 
school hours.] 

[§§ 26-27 require that a candidate shall deposit £150 with the returning 
officer, which shall be returned to him unless he fails to receive more than 
one-eighth of the votes cast (or a proportionate number in a constituency 
returning more than two members) . A candidate nominated in more than one 
constituency may not recover his deposit more than once.] 

[§§ 28-32. Duties, payment, etc., of returning officers; polling districts, etc.] 

33. — (j) The provisions set out in the Fourth Schedule to this Act 
shall be substituted for Part IV. and paragraph (3) of Part V. of the 
First Schedule to the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Prevention Act, 
1883 (which relate to the maximum scale of election expenses), and 
that Act shall have effect accordingly. 

[(2) A candidate may send one communication free of charge by post to 
each elector in his constituency.] 

34. — -(1) A person other than the election agent of a candidate shall 
not incur any expenses on account of holding public meetings or 
issuing advertisements, circulars or publications for the purpose of 
promoting or procuring the election of any candidate at a parlia- 
mentary election, unless he is authorised in writing to do so by such 
election agent. 

(2) If any person acts in contravention of this section, he shall be 
guilty of a corrupt practice. . . . 


Part IV 

Redistribution of Seats 

37. — (1) Each of the areas mentioned in the First Part of the 
Ninth Schedule to this Act shall be a parliamentary borough returning 
the number of members specified opposite thereto in the said Schedule, 
and whert so provided in the Schedule shall be divided into the 
divisions specified therein, and each such division shall return one 

member. • 

• 

[In England, 131 parliamentary boroughs, in 255 divisions; in^Val^ and 
Monmouthshire, 6 boroughs in 11 divisions; in Scotland, 13 borou^fts in 13 
divisions: in all, 299 division^] 

Gbg 



14 


Statutes 


(2) Each of the areas mentioned in the first column of the Second Part of 
the Ninth Schedule to this Act shall be a parliamentary county returning 
the number of members specified opposite thereto in the said Schedule, 
and where so provided in the Schedule shall be divided into the divisions 
specified therein, and each such division shall return one member. 

[In England, 46 parliamentary counties, in 230 divisions; in Wales and 
Monmouthshire, 12 counties in 24 divisions; in Scotland, 21 counties in 38 
divisions: in all, 292 divisions. 

(3) Each of the universities and combinations of universities men- 
tioned in the Third Part of the Ninth Schedule to this Act shall be a 
constituency returning the number of members specified opposite ■ 
thereto in the said Schedule. 

[Two members each to be returned by the Universities of Oxford and 
Cambridge; one each by the Universities of London and Wales; two members 
by the Victoria University of Manchester and the Universities of Durham; 
Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield, Birmingham and Bristol; three members by the 
Universities of St. Andrews, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh: eleven 
university members in all.] 

[Part V (General) and Schedules 1-3 and 5-9 omitted.] 

Fourth Schedule 

The expenses . . . other than personal expenses and tke fee, if any, 
paid to the election agent (not exceeding in the case of a county 
election seventy-five pounds and of a borough election fifty pounds . . .) 

shall not exceed an amount equal— 

<•( 

in the case of a county election to sevenpence for each elector on 

the register; 

in the case of an election for a borough to fivepence for each elector 

on the register. 


RE-ELECTION OF MINISTERS ACT, 1919 
9 Geo. 5, c. 2 

An Act to make provision for restricting the necessity of the re-election of Members 
of the House of Commons on acceptance of office, and to make provision as to the 
right of certain Ministers to sit in the House of Commons . 

[27th February igigd\ 

1 . — (1) Notwithstanding anything in any Act, a member of the 
Commons TIouse of Parliament shall not vacate Jus seat by reason 
only r of his acceptance of an office of profit if that office is an office the 
holder^of which is capable of being elected to, or sitting or voting 
in, that House, and if such acceptance h*ts taken place within nine 



Re-election of Ministers Act, igig 15 

months after the issue of a proclamation summoning a new Parliament: 

Provided that this section shall not apply to the acceptance of any 
• office mentioned in the schedule to this Act, nor shall it affect the 
provisions of any Act imposing a limit on the number of Secretaries 
or Under Secretaries of State who may sit and vote in the Commons 
House of Parliament. 

(2) Where by virtue of this section a member of the Commons House 
of Parliament does not vacate his seat by reason of his acceptance of 
any of the offices mentioned in Schedule H. of the Representation 
of the People Act, 1867, and Schedule H. of the Representation of 

.the People (Scotland) Act, 1868, and Schedule E. of the Representa- 
tion of the People (Ireland) Act, 1 868, as amended by any subsequent 
enactment, he shall, for the purposes of section fifty-two, section fifty- 
one, and section eleven of those Acts, respectively, be treated as if he 
had been returned as a member to serve in Parliament since the 
acceptance by him of such office. 

(3) This section shall be deemed to have had effect as from the first 
day of January nineteen hundred and nineteen. 

2 . Where, before or after the passing of this Act, a member of His 
Majesty’s Privy Council has been or is appointed to be a Minister of 
the Crown at a salary, without any other office being assigned to him, 
he shall not by reason thereof be deemed to have been or to be incap- 
able of being elected to or of sitting or voting in the Commons House 
of Parliament, and the office of such Minister shall be deemed to be an 
office included in the above-mentioned schedules: 

* Provided that not more than three Ministers to whom this section 
applies shall sit as members of thai House at the same time. 

3 . This Act may be cited as the Re-election of Ministers Act, 1919. 

Schedule 
Excepted Offices 

Office of Steward or Bailiff of His Majesty’s three Chiltern Hundreds 
of Stoke, Desborough and Burnham. ^ .. 

Office of Steward or Bailiff of the Manors of East Hendred, Northstead 
or Hempholme. 


* MINISTRY OF HEALTH ACT, 1919 
9 and 10 Geo. 5, c. 21 

9 

1. For the purpose of promoting the health of the people d^jmxg^iout 
England and Wales, and for the purpose of the exercise of the powers 
transferred or conferred b)* this Act, it shall be lawful for His Majesty 



i6 


Statutes 


to appoint a Minister of Health (hereinafter called “the Minister 55 ), 
who shall hold office during His Majesty’s pleasure. 

2 . — It shall be the duty of the Minister, in the exercise and per- • 
formance of any powers and duties transferred to or conferred upon 
him by or in pursuance of this Act, to take all such steps as may be 
desirable to secure the preparation, effective carrying out and co- 
ordination of measures conducive to the health of the people, including 
measures for the prevention and cure of diseases, the avoidance of fraud 
in connection with alleged remedies therefor, the treatment of physical 
and mental defects, the treatment and care of the blind, the initiation 
and direction of research, the collection, preparation, publication, and 
dissemination of information and statistics relating thereto, and the 
training of persons for health services. 

3. — (i) There shall be transferred to the Minister — 

{a) all the powers and duties of the Local Government Board; 

(b) all the powers and duties of the Insurance Commissioners and the 
Welsh Insurance Commissioners; 

(c) all the powers of the Board 'of Education with respect to attending 
to the health of expectant mothers and nursing mothers and of 
children who have not attained the age of five years and are not 
in attendance at schools recognised by the Board of Education; 

(d) all the powers and duties of the Board of Education with respect 
to the medical inspection and treatment of children and young 
persons under paragraph (b) of subsection ( i ) of section thirteen of 
the Education (Administrative Provisions) Act, 1907, as amended 
and extended by tht: Education Act, 1918: Provided that, for the 
purpose of facilitating the effective exercise and performance of 
these powers and duties, the Minister may make arrangements with 
the Board of Education respecting the submission and approval of 
schemes of local education authorities and the payment of grants 

# to local education authorities, so far as such schemes and payment 
relate to or are in respect of medical inspection and treatment; and 
the powers and duties of the Minister may under any such arrange- 
^ _ ments be exercised and performed by the Board on his behalf and 
with his authority under such conditions as he may think fit; 

(e) all the powers of the Privy Council and of the Lord President of 
the Council under the Midwives Acts, 1902 and 1918; 

(/) such powers of supervising the administration of Part I. of the 
Children Act, igo8 (which relates to infant life protection), as have 
heretofore been exercised by the Secretary of State: 

Provided that — 

<•* 

(i) £hejjpwer conferred on the Insurance Commissioners by the proviso 
to'subsection (2) of section sixteen of the National Insurance 
Act, 19x1, of retaining and applying for the purposes of research 



Ministry of Health Act , igig 17 

such sums as are therein mentioned shall not be transferred to the 
Minister, but the duties heretofore performed by the Medical 
Research Committee shall after the date of the commencement of 
this Act be carried on by or under the direction of a Committee 
of the Privy Council appointed by His Majesty for that purpose, 
and any property held for the purposes of the former Committee 
shall after that date be transferred to and vested in such persons 
as the body by whom such duties as aforesaid are carried on may 
appoint, and be held by them for the purposes of that body; and 
(ii) in such matters of a judicial nature under the National Insurance 
(Health) Acts, ign to 1918, as may be prescribed under those 
Acts, the powers and duties of the Insurance Commissioners and 
the Welsh Insurance Commissioners by this Act transferred to the 
Minister shall be exercised by the Minister through a special body 
* or special bodies of persons constituted in such manner as may be 
so prescribed. 

(2) It shall be lawful for His Majesty from time to time by Order in 
Council to transfer to the Minister — 

(a) all or any of the powers and duties of the Minister of Pensions with 
respect to the health of disabled officers and men after they have 
left the service; 

(b) all or any of the powers and duties of the Secretary of State under 
the enactments relating to lunacy and mental deficiency; 

(c) any other powers and duties in England and Wales of any Govern- 
ment department which appear to His Majesty to relate to matters 
affecting or incidental to the health of the people. 

(3) It shall be lawful for His Majesty from time to time by Order 
in Council to transfer from the Minister to any other Government 
department any of the powers and duties of the Minister, whether 
relating to the relief of the poor or otherwise, which appear to His 
Majesty not to relate to matters affecting or incidental to the health 
of the people. 

And it is hereby declared that it is the intention of this ActTHat, 
in the event of provision being made by Act of Parliament passed in 
the present or in any future session for the revision of the law relating 
to the relief of the poor and the distribution amongst other authorities 
of the powers exerciseable by boards of guardians, there shall be trans- 
ferred from the Minister to other Government departments such of the 
powers and duties under the enactments relating to the relief of the 
poor then vested m the Minister (not being powers or duues relating 
or incidental to the health of the people) as appear to His N|aje^;y to 
be such as could be more conveniently exercised and performed by 
such other departments. 



i8 


Statutes 


(4) His Majesty may by Order in Council make such incidental, 
consequential, and supplemental provisions as may be necessary or 
expedient for the purpose of giving full effect to any transfer of powers 
or duties by or under this section, including provisions for the transfer 
of any property, rights, and liabilities held, enjoyed, or incurred by 
any Government department in connection with any powers or duties 
transferred, and may make such adaptations in the enactments relating 
to such powers or duties as may be necessary to make exerciseable by 
the Minister and his officers or by such other Government department 
and their officers, as the case may be, the powers and duties so trans- 
ferred. 

(5) In connection with the transfer of powers and duties to or from 
the Minister by or under this Act, the provisions set out in the First 
Schedule to this Act shall have effect. 

4 , — (1) It shall be lawful for His Majesty by Order in Council tp 
establish consultative councils in England and Wales for giving, in 
accordance with the provisions of the Order, advice and assistance to 
the Minister in connection with such matters affecting or incidental 
to the health of the people as may be referred to in such Order. 

(2) Every such council shall include women as well as men, and 
shall consist of persons having practical experience of the matters 
referred to the Council. 

5 . The Minister shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, appoint 
such officers as he may think fit to constitute a Board of Health in 
Wales through whom he may exercise and perform in Wales in such 
manner as he may thir^k fit any of his powers and duties; the Board 
and any officer who is a member thereof shall act under the directions, 
and comply with the instructions, of the Minister. 

[§ 6. Staff and remuneration.] 

[§ 7. Seal, style and acts of the Minister.] 

8. — (1) Any Order in Council made under this Act may be revoked 
or varied by a subsequent Order. 

(2) Before any Order in Council under this Act (other than an 
Order appointing a day for the commencement of this Act or any 
provision thereof) is made, notice of the proposal to make the Order 
and of the place where copies of a draft of the Order can be obtained 
shall be published in the London Gazette, and in such other manner 
as the Minister thinks best adapted for insuring publicity, and a draft 
of the Order shall be laid before each House of Parliament for not 
less than thirty days on which such House is sitting. 

(3) In tSe case of a draft of an Order providing^for any transfer of 
pow^ryar duties to or from the Minister under subsections (2) and (3) 
of section three of this Act, or for the establishment of any consultative 
council under section four thereof, the Order shall not be made until 



Ministry of Health Act , igig 19 

both Houses by resolution have approved the draft, nor, if any modifi- 
cations are agreed to by both Houses, otherwise than as so modified, 
and in the case of a draft of any other Order which is required to be 
laid as aforesaid, if either House before the expiration of such thirty 
days presents an Address to His Majesty against the draft, or any part 
thereof, no further proceedings shall be taken thereon, without pre- 
judice to the making of any new draft Order. 

[§ 9. Modifications of Insurance Acts.] 

[§ 10. The Chief Secretary to be the Minister of Health for Ireland.] 

[§ 11. Short title, interpretation, etc. Two schedules.] 


POLICE ACT, 1919 
9 and 10 Geo. 5, c. 46 

1 . — (1) For the purpose of enabling the members of the police forces 
of England and Wales to consider and*bring to the notice of the police 
authorities and the Secretary of State all the matters affecting their 
welfare and efficiency, other than questions of discipline and pro- 
motion affecting individuals, there shall be established in accordance 
with the Schedule 1 to this Act an organisation to be called the Police 
Federation, which shall act through local and central representative 
bodies as provided in that schedule. 

(2) The Police Federation and every branch thereof shall be entirely 
independent of and unassociated with any body or person outside the 
police service. 

2 , — (1) Subject as aforesaid, it shall not be lawful for a member of 
a police force to become, or after the expiration of one month from the 
passing of this Act to be, a member of any trade union, or of any 
association having for its objects, or one of its objects, to control or 
influence the pay, pensions, or conditions of service of any police force; 
and any member of a police force who contravenes this provision shall 
be disqualified for continuing to be a member of the force; and, if any 
member of a police force continues to act as such after becomfjftf“!>o 
disqualified, he shall forfeit all pension rights and be disqualified for 
being thereafter employed in any police force; 

Provided that, where a man was a member of a trade union before 
becoming a constable, he may, with the consent of the chief officer of 
police, continue to be a member of that union during the time of his 
service in the police force. 

(2) If any question arises whether any body is a trade ffhion or an 
association to which this section applies, the question shall Jbe deter- 
mined by the Minister of Labour. 

Schedule omitted. 



20 


Statutes 


3 . If any person causes, or attempts to cause, or does any act calcu- 
lated to cause disaffection amongst the members of any police force, 
or induces, or attempts to induce, or does any act calculated to induce 
any member of a police force to withhold his services or to commit 
breaches of discipline, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour, and shall 
be liable on conviction on indictment to imprisonment, with or without 
hard labour, for a term not exceeding two years, or on summary con- 
viction, to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a term not 
exceeding three months, or to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds, or to 
both such imprisonment and fine, and in either case, if a member of a 
police force, shall forfeit all pension rights and be disqualified for 
being a member of any police force : Provided that, where the person 
convicted of any such offence was a member of a police force and was 
not sentenced to imprisonment without the option of a fine, the police 
authority may, if they think fit, pay to him the whole or any part of 
the rateable deductions which may have been made from his pay. 

4 . — (i) It shall be lawful for the Secretary of State to make regula- 
tions as to the government, mutual aid, pay, allowances, pensions, 
clothing, expenses and conditions of service of the members of all 
police forces within England and Wales, and every police authority 
shall comply with the regulations so made. 

(2) A draft of any regulations proposed to be so made as aforesaid 
shall be submitted to a council, consisting of the joint central com- 
mittee or a deputation from the joint central committee of the Police 
Federation and representatives of the chief officers of police and police 
authorities selected for |he purpose by the Secretary of State, after 
consultation with the County Councils Association and the Association 
of Municipal Corporations, and before making the regulations the 
Secretary of State shall consider any representations made by such 
council. 

[§§ 5-6. Pensions.] 

[§ 7. Abolition of limits on police rates.] 

8 . — (1) The amounts payable or transferable by a county council 
un 38 r subsection (2) of section twenty-four of the Local Government 
Act, 1 888, on account of police in respect of the year ending the thirty- 
first day of March, nineteen hundred and twenty, or any subsequent 
year shall, instead of being calculated in manner provided in para- 
graphs (i) and (j) of that subsection, be the full amounts payable or 
transferable in accordance with the said paragraphs in respect of the 
year ending the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and 
fifteen. m 

(2), This section shall be construed as one with the Local Govern- 
ment Act, 1888, and shall apply to county borough councils in like 
manner as it applies to county councils. 



21 


Police Act , igig 

9. It shall be lawful for the police authority of any police force, out 
of the police fund, to make contributions to any provident fund 
approved by the Secretary of State out of which provision is made for 
payments to members of the police force on their retirement, or, on 
their death, to their widows, dependants, or representatives. 

10 . If any person not being a member of a police force wears without 
the permission of the police authority the uniform of the police force, 
or any dress having the appearance or bearing any of the distinctive 
marks of that uniform, he shall on summary conviction be liable to a 
fine not exceeding ten pounds : 

Provided that this section shall not prevent persons from wearing 
any uniform or dress in the course of a stage play or music hall or 
circus performance. 

12. This Act shall apply to the City of London Police and to every 
police force to which the Police Act, 1890, applies. . . . 

13. — ( 1 ) This Act shall apply to Scotland, with the substitution of 
references to the Secretary for Scotland for references to the Secretary 
of State, of references to Scotland for references to England and Wales, 
and of references to the Police (Scotland) Act, 1890, for references to 
the Police Act, 1890, and in the case of the schedule, subject to such 
modifications as the Secretary for Scotland may by order prescribe 
for the purpose of adapting the provisions of that schedule to the 
circumstances of Scotland. . . . 

14. In making regulations as to government, mutual aid, pay, 
allowances, pensions, clothing, expenses and conditions of service of 
members of the police force, the Secretary of State and the Secretary 
for Scotland shall act in consultation one with another. 

15 . — (1) This Act may be cited as the Police Act, 1919. 

(2) This Act shall not extend to Ireland. 


CHURCH OF ENGLAND ASSEMBLY (POWERS) ACT, 1919 
9 and 10 Geo. 5, c. 76 

Whereas the Convocations of Canterbury and York have recom- 
mended in Addresses presented to His Majesty on the tenth day of 
May nineteen hundred and nineteen, that, subject to the control and 
authority of His Majesty and of the two Houses of Parliament, powers 
in regard to legislation touching matters concerning the Church of 
England shall be conferred on the National Assembly of The Church 
of England constituted in the manner set forth in identical te^ns i# the 
Appendix attached to their several Addresses: 

And whereas it is expedient, subject to such control and authority 



22 


Statutes 


as aforesaid, that such powers should be conferred on the Church 
Assembly so constituted : 

Be it therefore enacted . . . 

[§ i . The National Assembly of the Church of England, the Constitution 
of the Assembly and the Legislative Committee shall be as set out in the 
Addresses.] 

2* — (i) There shall be a Committee of members of both Houses of 
Parliament styled “The Ecclesiastical Committee.” 

(2) The Ecclesiastical Committee shall consist of fifteen members of 
the House of Lords, nominated by the Lord Chancellor, and fifteen 
members of the House of Commons, nominated by the Speaker of the 
House of Commons, to be appointed on the passing of this Act to 
serve for the duration of the present Parliament and thereafter to be 
appointed at the commencement of each Parliament to serve for the* 
duration of that Parliament. 

Any casual vacancy occurring by the reason of the death, resigna- 
tion, or incapacity of a member of the Ecclesiastical Committee shall 
be filled by the nomination of a member by the Lord Chancellor or the 
Speaker of the House of Commons, as the case may be. 

(3) The powers and duties of the Ecclesiastical Committee may be 
exercised and discharged by any twelve members thereof, and the 
Committee shall be entitled to sit and to transact business whether 
Parliament be sitting or not, and notwithstanding a vacancy in the 
membership of the Committee. Subject to the provisions of this Act, 
the Ecclesiastical Committee may regulate its own procedure. 

3 . — (x) Every measure passed by the Church Assembly shall be 
submitted by the Legislative Committee to the Ecclesiastical Com- 
mittee, together with such comments and explanations as the Legisla- 
tive Committee may deem it expedient or be directed by the Church 
Assembly to add. 

(2) The Ecclesiastical Committee shall thereupon consider the 
measure so submitted to it, and may, at any time during such con- 
sideration, either of its own motion or at the request of the Legislative 
Corffimittee, invite the Legislative Committee to a conference to discuss 
the provisions thereof, and thereupon a conference of the two com- 
mittees shall be held accordingly. 

(3) After considering the measure, the Ecclesiastical Committee shall 
draft a report thereon to Parliament stating the nature and legal effect 
of the measure and its views as to the expediency thereof, especially with 
relation to the constitutional rights of all His Majesty’s subjects. 

(4) The Ecclesiastical Committee shall commui^icate its report in 
draft tojjie Legislative Committee, but shall not present it to Parlia- 
ment until the Legislative Committee signify its desire that it should 
be so presented. 



Church of England Assembly ( Powers ) Act , iQig 23 

(5) At any time before the presentation of the report to Parliament 
the Legislative Committee may, either on its own motion or by direc- 
tion of the Church Assembly, withdraw a measure from further con- 
sideration by the Ecclesiastical Committee; but the Legislative Com- 
mittee shall have no power to vary a measure of the Church Assembly 
either before or after conference with the Ecclesiastical Committee. 

(6) A measure may relate to any matter concerning the Church of 
England, and may extend to the amendment or repeal in whole or in 
part of any Act of Parliament, including this Act: 

Provided that a measure shall not make any alteration in the com- 
position or powers or duties of the Ecclesiastical Committee, or in the 
procedure in Parliament prescribed by section four of this Act. 

(7) No proceedings of the Church Assembly in relation to a measure 
shall be invalidated by any vacancy in the membership of the Church 
-Assembly or by any defect in the qualification or election of any 
member thereof. 

4 . When the Ecclesiastical Committee shall have reported to Parlia- 
ment on any measure submitted by*the Legislative Committee, the 
report together with the text of such measure, shall be laid before 
both Houses of Parliament forthwith, if Parliament be then sitting, or, 
if not, then immediately after the next meeting of Parliament, and 
thereupon, on a resolution being passed by each House of Parliament 
directing that such measure in the form laid before Parliament should 
be presented to His Majesty, such measure shall be presented to His 
Majesty, and shall have the force and effect of an Act of Parliament 
on the Royal Assent being signified thereto in the same manner as to 
Acts of Parliament : 

Provided that, if upon a measure being laid before Parliament the 
Chairman of Committees of the House of Lords and the Chairman of 
Ways and Means in the House of Commons acting in consultation, 
shall be of opinion that the measure deals with two or more different 
subjects which might be more properly divided, they may, by j'oint 
agreement, divide the measure into two or more separate measures 
accordingly, and thereupon this section shall have effect as if each of 
the measures resulting from such division had been laid before PJnSa- 
ment as a separate measure. 

5 . This Act may be cited as the Church of England Assembly 
(Powers) Act, 1919. 



24 


Statutes 


EMERGENCY POWERS ACT, 1920 
10 and 11 Geo. 5, c. 55 

1. — (i) If at any time it appears to His Majesty that any action has 
been taken or is immediately threatened by any persons or body of 
persons of such a nature and on so extensive a scale as to be calculated, 
by interfering with the supply and distribution of food, water, fuel, or 
light, or with the means of locomotion, to deprive the community, or 
any substantial portion of the community, of the essentials of life, His 
Majesty may, by proclamation (hereinafter referred to as a proclama- 
tion of emergency), declare that a state of emergency exists. 

No such proclamation shall be in force for more than one month, 
without prejudice to the issue of another proclamation at or before 
the end of that period. * 

( 2 ) Where a proclamation of emergency has been made, the occasion 
thereof shall forthwith be communicated to Parliament, and, if Par- 
liament is then separated by such adjournment or prorogation as will 
not expire within five days, a proclamation shall be issued for the 
meeting of Parliament within five days, and Parliament shall accord- 
ingly meet and sit upon the day appointed by that proclamation, and 
shall continue to sit and act in like manner as if it had stopd adjourned 
or prorogued to the same day. 

2. — ( 1 ) Where a proclamation of emergency has been made, and 
so long as the proclamation is in force, it shall be lawful for His 
Majesty in Council, by « Order, to 'make regulations for securing the 
essentials of life to the community, and those regulations may confer 
or impose on a Secretary of State or other Government department, 
or any other persons in His Majesty’s service or acting on His Majesty’s 
behalf, such powers and duties as His Majesty may deem necessary for 
the preservation of the peace, for securing and regulating the supply 
and distribution of food, water, fuel, light, and other necessities, for 
maintaining the means of transit or locomotion, and for any other pur- 
poses essential to the public safety and the life of the community, and 
may make such provisions incidental to the powers aforesaid as may 
appear to His Majesty to be required for making the exercise of those 
powers effective: 

Provided that nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorise the 
making of any regulations imposing any form of compulsory military 
service or industrial conscription: 

Provide^ also that no such regulation shall make it an offence for 
any person or persons to take part in a strike, or peacefully to persuade 
any «tJ^£ person or persons to take part in a strike. 

( 2 ) Any regulations so made shall be laid before Parliament as soon 
as ma^ be after they are made, and shall tiot continue in force after 



Emergency Powers Act % 1920 25 

the expiration of seven days from the time when they are so laid 
unless a resolution is passed by both Houses providing for the con- 
tinuance thereof. 

(3) The regulations may provide for the trial, by courts of summary 
jurisdiction, of persons guilty of offences against the regulations; so, 
however, that the maximum penalty which may be inflicted for any 
offence against any such regulations shall be imprisonment with or 
without hard labour for a term of three months, or a fine of one hun- 
dred pounds, or both such imprisonment and fine, together with the 
forfeiture of any goods or money in respect of which the offence has 
been committed: Provided that no such regulations shall alter any 
existing procedure in criminal cases, or confer any right to punish by 
fine or imprisonment without trial. 

(4) The regulations so made shall have effect as if enacted in this 
Act, but may be added to, altered or revoked by resolution of both 
Houses of Parliament or by regulations made in like manner and sub- 
ject to the like provisions as the original regulations; and regulations 
made under this section shall not be deemed to be statutory rules 
within the meaning of section one of the Rules Publication Act, 1893. 

(5) The expiry or revocation of any regulations so made shall not 
be deemed to have affected the previous operation thereof, or the 
validity of any action taken thereunder, or any penalty or punishment 
incurred in respect of any contravention or failure to comply therewith, 
or any proceeding or remedy in respect of any such punishment or 
penalty. 

- 3 . — (1) This Act may be cited as the Emergency Powers Act, 1920. 

(2) This Act shall not apply to Ireland. 


OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT, 1920 
10 and 11 Geo. 5 , c. 75 

An Act to amend the Official Secrets Act , 1911. , m 

\_23rd December 1920. ] 

1 . If any person for the purpose of gaining admission, or of 
assisting any other person to gain admission, to a prohibited place, 
within the meaning of the Official Secrets Act, 1911 (hereinafter 
referred to as “the principal Act 55 ), or for any other purpose preju- 
dicial to the safety or interests of the State within the meaning of the 
said Acts — * 

(a) uses or wears, without lawful authority, any naval, military, air- 
force, police, or other ^official uniform, or any uniform so nearly 



26 


Statutes 


resembling the same as to be calculated to deceive, or falsely 
represents himself to be a person who is or has been entitled to use 
or wear any such uniform; or 

(b) orally, or in writing in any declaration or application, or in any 
document signed by him or on his behalf, knowingly makes or 
connives at the making of any false statement or any omission; or 

(c) forges, alters, or tampers with any passport or any naval, military, 
air-force, police, or official pass, permit, certificate, licence, or 
other document of a similar character (hereinafter in this section 
referred to as an official document), or uses or has in his possession 
any such forged, altered, or irregular official document; or 

(d) personates, or falsely represents himself to be a person holding, or 
in the employment of a person holding office under His Majesty, 
or to be or not to be a person to whom an official document or 
secret official code word or pass word has been duly issued oir 
communicated, or with intent to obtain an official document, 
secret official code word or pass word, whether for himself or any 
other person, knowingly makes any false statement; or 

(e) uses, or has in his possession or under his control, without the 
authority of the Government Department or the authority con- 
cerned, any die, seal, or stamp of or belonging to, or used, made or 
provided by any Government Department, or by any; diplomatic, 
naval, military, or air-force authority appointed by or acting under 
the authority of His Majesty, or any die, seal or stamp so nearly 
resembling any such die, seal or stamp as to be calculated to 
deceive, or counterfeits any such die, seal or stamp, or uses, or has 
in his possession, or under his control, any such counterfeited die, 
seal or stamp; 

he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour. 

(2) If any person — 

(<2) retains for any purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the 
^State any official document, whether or not completed or issued 
tor use, when he has no right to retain it, or when it is contrary 
to his duty to retain it, or fails to comply with any directions issued 
by any Government Department or any person authorised by such 
department with regard to the return or disposal thereof; or 

(b) allows any other person to have possession of any official^ document 
issued for his use alone, or communicates any secret official code 
word or pass word so issued, or, without lawful authority or excuse, 
has in his possession any official document or secret official code 
worjl or pass word issued for the use of some person other than 
himself, or on obtaining possession of any official documents by 
finding or otherwise, neglects or fails ter restore it to the person or 



Official Secrets Act , ig20 27 

authority by whom or for whose use it was issued, or to a police 
constable; or 

* ( c ) without lawful authority or excuse, manufactures or sells, or has in 
his possession for sale any such die, seal or stamp as aforesaid; 

he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour. 

(3) In the case of any prosecution under this section involving the 
proof of a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, 
subsection (2) of section one of the principal Act shall apply in like 
manner as it applies to prosecutions under that section. 

2 . — (1) In any proceedings against a person for an offence under 
section one of the principal Act, the fact that he has been in com- 
munication with, or attempted to communicate with, a foreign agent, 
whether within or without the United Kingdom, shall be evidence that 
he has, for a purpose prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, 
obtained or attempted to obtain information which is calculated to be 
or might be or is intended to be directly or indirectly useful to an 
enemy. 

(2) For the purpose of this section, but without prejudice to the 
generality of the foregoing provision — 

{a) A person shall, unless he proves the contrary, be deemed to have 
been in communication with a foreign agent if — 

(i) He has, either within or without the United Kingdom, visited 
the address of a foreign agent or consorted or associated with a 
foreign agent; or 

• (ii) Either, within or without the United* Kingdom, the name or 
address of, or any other information regarding a foreign agent has 
been found in his possession, or has been supplied by him to any 
other person, or has been obtained by him from any other person: 

(b) The expression “foreign agent” includes any person who is or has 
been or is reasonably suspected of being or having been employed 
by a foreign power either directly or indirectly for the purpose of 
committing an act, either within or without the United Kingdom, 
prejudicial to the safety or interests of the State, or who has or is 
reasonably suspected of having, either within or without •fflfe 
United Kingdom, committed, or attempted to commit, such an 
act in the interests of a foreign power: 

(c) Any address, whether within or without the United Kingdom, 
reasonably suspected of being an address used for the receipt of 
communications intended for a foreign agent, or any address at 
which a foreign agent resides, or to which he resorts for the purpose 
of giving or reviving communications, or at which he # carries on 
any business, shall be deemed to be the address of a foreign agpnt, 
and communications addressed to such an address to be com- 
munications with a foreign agent. 



28 


Statutes 


3. No person in the vicinity of any prohibited place shall obstruct, 
knowingly mislead or otherwise interfere with or impede, the chief 
officer or a superintendent or other officer of police, or any member of 
His Majesty’s forces engaged on guard, sentry, patrol, or other similar 
duty in relation to the prohibited place, and, if any person acts in 
contravention of, or fails to comply with, this provision, he shall be 
guilty of a misdemeanour. 

[§ 4. The Secretary of State is to have power to require the production of 
telegrams.] 

[§ 5. Those who carry on the business of receiving postal packets are to be 
registered with the police.] 

6 . It shall be the duty of every person to give on demand to a chief 
officer of police, or to a superintendent or other officer of police not 
below the rank of inspector appointed by a chief officer for the purpose, 
or to any member of His Majesty’s forces engaged on guard, sentry, 
patrol, or other similar duty, any information in his power relating to 
an offence or suspected offence under the principal Act or this Act, 
and, if so required, and upon? tender of his reasonable expenses, to 
attend at such reasonable time and place as may be specified for the 
purpose of furnishing such information, and, if any person fails to give 
any such information or to attend as aforesaid, he shall be guilty of a 
misdemeanour. # 

[§ 7. Attempts to commit an offence, and incitement of others.] 

8 . — (1) Any person who is guilty of a felony under the principal Act 
or this Act shall be liabje to penal -servitude for a term of not less than 
three years and not exceeding fourteen years. 

(2) Any person who is guilty of a misdemeanour under the principal 
Act or this Act shall be liable on conviction on indictment to imprison- 
ment, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding two 
years, or, on conviction under the Summary Jurisdiction Acts, to 
imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for a term not exceeding 
three months or to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds, or both such 
imprisonment and fine: 

•'Trovided that no misdemeanour under the principal Act or this Act 
shall be dealt with summarily except with the consent of the Attorney- 
General. 

(3) For the purposes of the trial of a person for an offence under the 
principal Act or this Act, the offence shall be deemed to have been 
committed either at the place in which the same actually was com- 
mitted, or at any place in the United Kingdom in which the offender 
may be found. 

($.) In addition and without prejudice to any powers which a court 
may possess to order the exclusion of the public from any proceedings 
if, inthe course of proceedings before a co^rt against any person for an 



29 


Official Secrets Act , ig20 

offence under the principal Act or this Act or the proceedings on 
appeal, or in the course of the trial of a person for felony or misde- 
meanour under the principal Act or this Act, application is made by 
the prosecution, on the ground that the publication of any evidence to 
be given or of any statement to be made in the course of the proceedings 
would be prejudicial to the national safety, that all or any portion of 
the public shall be excluded during any part of the hearing, the court 
may make an order to that effect, but the passing of sentence shall in 
any case take place in public. 

( 5 ) Where the person guilty of an offence under the principal Act 
or this Act is a company or corporation, every director and officer of 
the company or corporation shall be guilty of the like offence unless 
he proves that the act or omission constituting the offence took place 
without his knowledge or consent. 

[§§ 9 -1 1 an d two schedules omitted.] 


RATING AND VALUATION ACT, 1925 
15 and 16 Geo. 5, c. 90 

Part I 
Rating 

.1. — ( 1 ) The council of every county borough and the council of 
every urban and rural district shall be the rating authority for the 
borough or for the county district, and from and after the appointed 
day no authority or person other than the council shall have power to 
make or levy any rate within the borough or district. 

( 2 ) As from the appointed day all powers and duties of the overseers 
of the poor in relation to the making, levying, and collection of rates, 
and of any other person who by virtue of any local Act has powers in 
that behalf, shall in every rating area be exercised and performed by 
the rating authority. . . . 

2. — ( 1 ) As from the date of the first new valuation, the rating 
authority of each urban rating area, in lieu of the poor rate and any 
other rate which they have power to make, shall make and levy for 
their area a consolidated rate which shall be termed 4 ‘the general rated * 

( 2 ) As from the appointed day the rating authority of each rural 

rating area shall, in lieu of making a poor rate for each parish, make 
and levy a generaffirate for the whole of the district. • 

( 3 ) Subject to the provisions of this Act, every general rate shall be a 
rate at a uniform amount per pound on the rateable value^bf each 
hereditament in the rating area, and shall be made, levied and 

Dbg 



Statutes 


30 

collected, and shall be recoverable, in the same manner in which at the 
commencement of this Act the poor rate may be made, levied, col- 
lected and recovered, and all the enactments relating to the poor rate 
which are in force at the commencement of this Act, including (subject 
to the provisions of this Act) enactments relating to appeals against a 
poor rate, shall, so far as not repealed by this Act, apply to the general 
rate. . . . 


Part II 
Valuation 

39. — ( 1 ) If at any time it is shown to the satisfaction of the High 
Court, on an application made by the Minister, or the council of any 
county or county borough concerned, that there is reason to appre- 
hend that by reason of default made by any authority, committee or 
person in complying with any of the provisions of this Part of this 
Act a valuation list for any area will not be duly prepared in accord- 
ance with those provisions so as to come into force on the proper date, 
the court may appoint such person as they think fit to make and 
approve the list for the said area or to do any such things as ought to 
have been done by the authority, committee or person in default. . . . 


Part III 
General 

* * 

66. — ( 1 ) The Minister may by order make such adaptations in the 
provisions of any local Act as may seem to him to be necessary in 
order to make those provisions conform with the provisions of this Act. 

( 2 ) Every order made under this section shall be laid before both 
Houses of Parliament forthwith, and if an Address is presented to His 
Majesty by either House of Parliament within the next subsequent 
twenty-eight days on which that House has sat after any such order is 
laid before it praying that the order may be annulled it shall thence- 
forth be void, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previ- 
ously done thereunder or the making of a new order. 

67. — ( 1 ) If any difficulty arises in connection with the application 
of this Act to any exceptional area, or the preparation of the first 
valuation list for any area, or otherwise in bringing into operation any 
of the provisions of this Act, the Minister may by order temove the 
difficulty or constitute any assessment committee, or declare any 
assessment committee to be duly constituted, or ^ake any appoint- 
ment, or do any other thing, which appears to him necessary or 
expedient for securing the due preparation of the list or for bringing the 
said provisions into operation, and any s*ich order may modify the 



Rating and Valuation Act, 1Q25 31 

provisions of this Act so far as may appear to the Minister necessary 
or expedient for carrying the order into effect: 

Provided that the Minister shall not exercise the powers conferred by 
this section after the thirty-first day of March, nineteen hundred and 
twenty-nine. 

(2) Every order made under this secdon shall be laid before both 
Houses of Parliament forthwith, and if an Address is presented to His 
Majesty by either House of Parliament within the next subsequent 
twenty-eight days on which that House has sat after any such order is 
laid before it praying that the order may be annulled it shall thence- 
forth be void, but without prejudice to the validity of anything previ- 
ously done thereunder or the making of a new order. 

(3) In this section the expression “exceptional area” includes any 
county district which extends into two or more counties or is admin- 
istered by the council of another district, and any parish which extends 
into two or more counties or county districts, or which is not within the 
same district for municipal and sanitary purposes. 

[§§ 68-70 and eight schedules omitted.] * 


BOARDS OF GUARDIANS (DEFAULT) ACT, 1926 
16 and 17 Geo. 5 , c. 20 

1. — (1) Where it appears to the Minister of Health . . . that the 
board of guardians for any poor la\V union ha**e ceased, or are acting 
in a manner as will render them unable, to discharge all or any of the 
functions exerciseable by the board, the Minister may by order under 
this Act appoint such person or persons, as he may think fit (whether 
qualified or not to be guardians for the union), to constitute the board 
in substitution for the then existing members of the board (who shall on 
the making of the order vacate their office) for such period, not exceeding 
twelve months, as may be specified in the order, and the persons so 
appointed shall be deemed for all purposes to constitute the board. . . . 

(2) The Minister may at any time, and from time to time, by ofuer 
extend, for a period not exceeding six months, the term of office of the 
appointed guardians. 

An order made under this subsection shall be laid before both 
Houses of Parliament as soon as may be after it is made, and if either 
House witSin twenty-one days after the order has been laid before it 
presents an address to His Majesty praying that the order may be 
annulled, His Maj^ty may by Order in Council annul the order and 
it shall thenceforth be void, but without prejudice to the validity of 
anything previously done thereunder, or the making of a fresh order. 

[Subsections (3) (4) and (57 of § 1 , and § 2 omitted.] 



32 


Statutes 


LOCAL GOVERNMENT (COUNTY BOROUGHS AND 
ADJUSTMENTS) ACT, 1926 
16 and 17 Geo. 5 , c. 38 

1 . — (i) It shall not be lawful for the Minister of Health by Provi- 
sional Order to constitute a borough into a county borough, and 
accordingly paragraph (d) of subsection (i) of section fifty -four of the 
Local Government Act, 1888, and in subsection (3) of the same 
section the words “or for constituting a borough into a county borough 55 
shall be repealed. 

(2) It shall not be lawful for the council of any borough to promote 
a Bill for the purpose of constituting the borough into a county borough 
unless the population of the borough, according to the published 
returns of the last census, for the time being is seventy-five thousand »r 
upwards. 

2 . — (1) Where under section fifty-four of the Local Government 
Act, 1888, a representation is made to the Minister of Health by the 
council of a county borough for any purpose involving the extension 
of the area of the county borough, the Minister shall not entertain 
the representation — 

(a) unless he is satisfied that the council of the county borough have 
sent to the councils of the counties, boroughs and districts affected 
notice of the proposed representation, together with a draft of 
the order which they desire to have made to give effect to their 
proposals; and 

(b) unless no notice of objection to procedure by Provisional Order 
has been sent to him by any such council within four weeks from 
the receipt of the notice from the county borough council, or 
unless every such notice or objection has been withdrawn. 

ts) Where in consequence of any such notice of objection or on any 
other ground the Minister declines to entertain the representation, the 
application for the Provisional Order shall be deemed and taken to 
b"£ r a petition for leave to bring in a Private Bill . . . : 

Provided that the council of a county borough shall forthwith inform 
all persons who have objected to the Provisional Order and other 
interested persons of their intention to proceed by way of Private Bill. 

[§ 3* Modification of the Borough Funds Acts, 1872 and 1903*} 

4 . Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this Act shall apply to the 
union of two county boroughs or affect the powers of the Minister of 
Health to effect such a union by Provisional Order. 

[§ 5 (Amendment to Local Government (Adjustments) Act, 1913) and § 6 
(Short title) omitted.] 



Roman Catholic Relief Act, ig 26 


33 


ROMAN CATHOLIC RELIEF ACT, 1926 
16 and 17 Geo. 5, c. 55 

An Act to provide for the further relief of His Majesty's Roman Catholic 
subjects . 

[lyth December igs6 . ] 

1 . The enactments specified in the Schedule to this Act are hereby 
repealed to the extent mentioned in the said Schedule. 

2. Nothing herein contained shall affect in any manner whatsoever 
any power conferred by any Act of Parliament, or by any byelaw made 
pursuant to any Act of Parliament, upon any local authority in Great 
Britain to make regulations relating to, or otherwise to control, any 
i^eeting or procession in or through any street or other public place 
whatsoever, or in or through any unfenced ground adjoining or abut- 
ting upon any such street or place, nor the power of any local authority 
conferred by any Act of Parliament to. make byelaws relating to any 
such meeting or procession. 

3. Nothing in this Act nor the repeal of any enactments or parts 
thereof specified in the Schedule thereof shall in any way alter, add 
to, or abridge the law relating to services, acts, matters or things per- 
formed or done in any church or chapel of the established Church of 
England or relating to clergy or ministers of the said established Church 
of England, or relating to any right of presentation to any benefice or 
other ecclesiastical living or office in the ^established Church of 
England. 

Nothing herein contained shall adversely affect the title to properties 
which were vested in the Crown by the statute, i Eliz., cap. 24. 

4 . This Act may be cited as the Roman Catholic Relief Act, 1926, 
and shall not apply to Northern Ireland. 



34 


Statutes 


Schedule 
Enactments Repealed 


Session and 
Chapter 

Short Title 

Extent of Repeal 

3 & 4 Edw. 6. 


The whole Act. 

cap. io. 



i Eliz. cap. 24 


The whole Act, 

1 Geo. 1. St. 2. 


except sections 
three, ten, twelve 
and sixteen. 

The whole Act. 

cap. 50. 



31 Geo. 3. 

The Roman Catholic Relief 

Sections eleven and 

cap. 32. 

Act, 179I. 

seventeen. 

10 Geo. 4. 

The Roman Catholic Relief 

Section twenty-six, 

cap. 7. 

Act, 1829. 

sections twenty- 

: 

2 & 3 Will. 4. 

The Roman Catholic Chari- 

eight to thirty-six 
inckisive. 

The Schedule. 
Section four. 

cap. 1 15. 

ties Act, 1832. 


23 & 24 Viet. 

The Roman Catholic Chari- 

Section seven. 

cap. 134. 

ties Act, i860. 

1 



Royal and Parliamentary Titles Act , ig2j 


35 


ROYAL AND PARLIAMENTARY TITLES ACT, 1927 
17 Geo. 5, c. 4 

An Act to provide for the alteration of the Royal Style and Titles and of the 
Style of Parliament and for purposes incidental thereto. 

[ 1 2th April ig2yl\ 

1. It shall be lawful for His Most Gracious Majesty, by His Royal 
Proclamation under the Great Seal of the Realm, issued within six 
months after the passing of this Act, to make such alteration in the 
style and titles at present appertaining to the Grown as to His Majesty 
may seem fit. 

2. — (i) Parliament shall hereafter be known as and styled the 
Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern 
Ireland; and accordingly, the present Parliament shall be known as the 
Thirty-fourth Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain 
and Northern Ireland, instead of the Thirty-fourth Parliament of the 
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. 

(2) In every Act passed and public document issued after the passing 
of this Act the expression 4 'United Kingdom” shall, unless the context 
otherwise requires, mean Great Britain and Northern Ireland. 

3. This A(?t may be cited as the Royal and Parliamentary Titles 
Act, 1927. 


TRADE DISPUTES AND TRADE UNIONS ACT, 1927 
17 and 18 Geo. 5, c. 22 

1. — (1) It is hereby declared — 

(a) that any strike is illegal if it — 

(i) has any object other than or in addition to the furtherance of a 
trade dispute within the trade or industry in which the strikers "are 
engaged; and 

(ii) is a strike designed or calculated to coerce the Government 
either directly or by inflicting hardship upon the community; and 

(b) that ai*y lock-out is illegal if it — 

(i) has any object other than or in addition to the furtherance of 

a trade dispute ^ithin the trade or industry in which the employers 
locking-out are engaged; and .% 

(ii) is a lock-out designed or calculated to coerce the Government 
either directly or by inflkting hardship upon the community:. 



Statutes 


36 

and it is further declared that it is illegal to commence, or continue, 
or to apply any sums in furtherance or support of, any such illegal 
strike or lock-out. . . . 

(2) If any person declares, instigates, incites others to take part in 
or otherwise acts in furtherance of a strike or lock-out, declared by 
this Act to be illegal, he shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine 
not exceeding ten pounds or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 
three months, or on conviction on indictment to imprisonment for a 
term not exceeding two years : 

Provided that no person shall be deemed to have committed an 
offence under this section or at common law by reason only of his 
having ceased work or refused to continue to work or to accept em- 
ployment. 

(3) Where any person is charged before any court with an offence 
under this section, no further proceedings in respect thereof shall be 
taken against him without the consent of the Attorney-General except 
such as the court may think necessary by remand (whether in custody 
or on bail) or otherwise to secure the safe custody of the person charged, 
but this subsection shall not apply to Scotland, or to any prosecution 
instituted by or on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions. 

(4) The provisions of the Trade Disputes Act, 1906, shall not, nor 
shall the second proviso to subsection (1) of section two^of the Emer- 
gency Powers Act, 1920, apply to any act done in contemplation or 
furtherance of a strike or lock-out which is by this Act declared to be 
illegal, and any such act shall not be deemed for the purposes of any 
enactment to be done* in contemplation or furtherance of a trade 
dispute : 

Provided that no person shall be deemed to have committed an 
offence under any regulations made under the Emergency Powers Act, 
1920, by reason only of his having ceased work or having refused to 
continue to work or to accept employment. 

2 . — (1) No person refusing to take part or to continue to take part 
in any strike or lock-out which is by this Act declared to be illegal, 
shall be, by reason of such refusal or by reason of any action taken by 
him under this section, subject to expulsion from any trade union or 
society, or to any fine or penalty, or to deprivation of any right or 
benefit to which he or his legal personal representatives would other- 
wise be entitled, or liable to be placed in any respect either directly or 
indirectly under any disability or at any disadvantage as compared 
with other members of the union or society, anything to tne contrary 
in the rules of a trade union or society notwithstanding. 

(2) No provisions of the Trade Union Acts, 18^1 to 1917, limiting 
the* proceedings which may be entertained by any court, and nothing 
in the rules of a trade union or society requiring the settlement of dis- 
pute^ in any manner shall apply to any proceeding for enforcing any 



Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act , IQ2J 37 

right or exemption secured by this section, and in any such proceeding 
the court may, in lieu of ordering a person who has been expelled from 
membership of a trade union or society to be restored to membership, 
order that he be paid out of the funds of the trade union or society such 
sum by way of compensation or damages as the court thinks just. 

(3) As respects any strike or lock-out before the passing of this Act 
but since the first day of May, nineteen hundred and twenty-six, which, 
according to the law as declared by this Act, was illegal, this section 
shall have effect as if it had been in operation when the strike or lock- 
out took place. 

3 . — (1) It is hereby declared that it is unlawful for one or more 
persons (whether acting on their own behalf or on behalf of a trade 
union or of an individual employer or firm, and notwithstanding that 
they may be acting in contemplation or furtherance of a trade dispute) 

Xp attend at or near a house or place where a person resides or works 
or carries on business or happens to be, for the purpose of obtaining or 
communicating information or of persuading or inducing any person 
to work or to abstain from working, if .they so attend in such numbers 
or otherwise in such manner as to be calculated to intimidate any person 
in that house or place, or to obstruct the approach thereto or egress 
therefrom, or to lead to a breach of the peace; and attending at or 
near any house or place in such numbers or in such manner as is by 
this subsection declared to be unlawful shall be deemed to be a watch- 
ing or besetting of that house or place within the meaning of section 
seven of the Conspiracy, and Protection of Property Act, 1875. 

• (2) In this section the expression ‘ho intimidate” means to cause 
in the mind of a person a reasonable apprehension of injury to him or 
to any member of his family or to any of his dependants or of violence 
or damage to any person or property, and the expression “injury” 
includes injury to a person in respect of his business, occupation, em- 
ployment or other source of income, and includes any actionable 
wrong. 

(3) In section seven of the Conspiracy, and Protection of Property * 

Act, 1875, the expression “intimidate” shall be construed as having the 
same meaning as in this section. ** 

(4) Notwithstanding anything in any Act, it shall not be lawful for 
one or more persons, for the purpose of inducing any person to work 
or to abstain from working, to watch or beset a house or place where a 
person resides or the approach to such a house or place, and any 
person who acts in contravention of this subsection shall be liable on 
summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds or to 
imprisonment for g term not exceeding three months. * 

4 . — (1) It shall not be lawful to require any member of a trade 
union to make any contribution to the political fund of a trade union 
unless he has at some tiros after the commencement of this Act and 



Statutes 


38 

before he is first after the thirty-first day of December, nineteen hun- 
dred and twenty-seven, required to make such a contribution delivered 
at the head office or some branch office of the trade union, notice in 
writing in the form set out in the First Schedule to this Act of his will- 
ingness to contribute to that fund and has not withdrawn the notice 
in manner hereinafter provided; and every member of a trade union 
who has not delivered such a notice as aforesaid, or who, having 
delivered such a notice, has withdrawn it in manner hereinafter pro- 
vided, shall be deemed for the purposes of the Trade Union Act, 1913, 
to be a member who is exempt from the obligation to contribute to the 
political fund of the union, and references in that Act to a member 
who is so exempt shall be construed accordingly. . . . 

(2) All contributions to the political fund of a trade union from 
members of the trade union who are liable to contribute to that fund 
shall be levied and made separately from any contributions to thp 
other funds of the trade union and no assets of the trade union, other 
than the amount raised by such a separate levy as aforesaid, shall be 
carried to that fund, and no assets of a trade union other than those 
forming part of the political fund shall be directly or indirectly applied 
or charged in furtherance of any political object to which section three 
of the Trade Union Act, 1913, applies; and any charge in contraven- 
tion of this subsection shall be void. 

(3) All rules of a trade union made and approved in accordance 
with the requirements of section three of the Trade Union Act, 1913, 
shall be amended so as to conform to the requirements of this Act, and 
as so amended shall ,be approved by the Registrar of Friendly 
Societies. . . . 

5 . — (1) Amongst the regulations as to the conditions of service in 
His Majesty’s civil establishments there shall be included regulations 
prohibiting established civil servants from being members, delegates, 
or representatives of any organisation of which the primary object is 
to influence or affect the remuneration and conditions of employment 
of its members, unless the organisation is an organisation of which the 
membership is confined to persons employed by or under the Crown 
aifu is an organisation which complies with such provisions as may be 
contained in the regulations for securing that it is in all respects inde- 
pendent of, and not affiliated to, any such organisation as aforesaid 
the membership of which is not confined to persons employed by or 
under the Crown or any federation comprising such organisations, that 
its objects do not include political objects, and that it is not associated 
directly or indirectly with any political party or organisation. . . . 

(2) Sufyect as hereinafter provided, any established civil servant 
who contravenes the regulations made under this section shall be 
disqualified for being a member of the Civil Service: 

Provided that, in the case of a first offence, a civil servant shall 



Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act , igsj 39 

forthwith be warned by the head of his department, and the said dis- 
qualification shall not take effect if within one month after such warning 
the civil servant ceases to contravene the said regulations. . . . 

6 . — (1) It shall not be lawful for any local or other public authority 
to make it a condition of the employment or continuance in employ- 
ment of any person that he shall or shall not be a member of a trade 
union, or to impose any condition upon persons employed by the 
authority whereby employees who are or who are not members of a 
trade union are liable to be placed in any respect either directly or 
indirectly under any disability or disadvantage as compared with other 
employees. 

(2) It shall not be lawful for any local or other public authority to 
make it a condition of any contract made or proposed to be made 
with the authority, or of the consideration or acceptance of any tender 
in connection with such a contract, that any person to be employed 
by any party to the contract shall or shall not be a member of a trade 
union. 

(3) Any condition imposed in contravention of this section shall be 
void. 

(4) There shall be added to section five of the Conspiracy, and Pro- 
tection of Property Act, 1875, the following provision, that is to say: — 

“If any person employed by a local or other public authority wilfully 
breaks a contract of service with that authority, knowing or having 
reasonable cause to believe that the probable consequence of his so 
doing, either alone or in combination with others, will be to cause 
injury or danger or grave inconvenience to^he community,* he shall 
be liable, on summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding ten pounds 
or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months. 55 

7 . Without prejudice to the right of any person having a sufficient 
interest in the relief sought to sue or apply for an injunction to restrain 
any application of the funds of a trade union in contravention of the 
provisions of this Act, an injunction restraining any application of the 
funds of a trade union in contravention of the provisions of section 
one of this Act may be granted at the suit or upon the application of 
the Attorney-General. 

In the application of this section to Scotland, there shall be substi- 
tuted therein for references to an injunction references to an interdict, 
and for the reference to the Attorney-General a reference to the Lord 
Advocate.*. . . 

[§ 8 (Short title, etc.) and two schedules omitted.] 



40 


Statutes 


AUDIT (LOCAL AUTHORITIES) ACT, 1927 
17 and 18 Geo. 5, c. 31 

1 . — (i) Subject to the provisions of this Act, every person who, at 

any audit, has been surcharged with an amount exceeding five hun- 
dred pounds by a district auditor shall for a period of five years com- 
mencing at the expiration of the period allowed for making an appeal 
or application with respect to the surcharge under the provisions of 
this Act or, if such an appeal or application is made, commencing on 
the date on which such an appeal or application is finally disposed of 
or abandoned or fails by reason of the non-prosecution thereof, be dis- 
qualified for being elected or appointed or being a member of any 
local authority, and if he is a member of a local authority his office 
shall thereupon become vacant. ... • 

(3) If any person acts as a member of any local authority when dis- 
qualified under this section, he shall for each offence be liable on 
summary conviction to a fine not exceeding twenty pounds. 

2 . — (1) Any person who is aggrieved by a decision of a district 
auditor on any matter with respect to which he made representations 
at the audit, and any person aggrieved by a disallowance or surcharge 
of a district auditor may, where the disallowance or surcharge or other 
decision relates to an amount exceeding five hundred pounds, appeal 
to the High Court, and may in any other case appeal either to the High 
Court or to the Minister of Health . . . and the Court or Minister shall 
have power to confirm, */ary or quash the decision of the auditor with 
such directions as the Court or Minister thinks fit for giving effect to 
the decision on appeal, and if the decision of the auditor is quashed, or 
is varied so as to reduce the amount of the surcharge to five hundred 
pounds or less, the appellant shall not be subject to the disqualification 
imposed by this Act. . . . 

(2) In the case of a surcharge the person surcharged may, whether 
or not he appeals under the last preceding subsection, apply to the 
tribunal (whether the High Court or the Minister) to which he appeals 
or, if he does not appeal, to the tribunal ... to which he might have 
appealed, for a declaration that in relation to the subject matter of the 
surcharge he acted reasonably or in the belief that his action was 
authorised by law, and the Court or Minister, if satisfied that there is 
proper ground for doing so, may make a declaration to that effect, and 
where such a declaration is made the person surcharged, if by reason 
of the surcharge he is subject to the disqualification imposed by this 
Act, shall not be subject to that disqualification, #and the Court or 
Mimster may, if satisfied that the person surcharged ought fairly to be 
excused, relieve him either wholly or partly from personal liability in 
respegt of the surcharge; the decision of tht Court or Minister under 



Audit ( Local Authorities ) Act , 192J 41 

this subsection shall be final and shall not be subject to appeal. . . 

(4) Where under this section an appeal or application is made to 
the Minister, the appellant or applicant shall be entitled, if he so 
desires, to a personal hearing by a person appointed for the purpose 
by the Minister. . . . 

[§ 3 (Recovery of sums certified by the auditor), § 4 (Short title, etc.) and 
Schedule omitted.] 


REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE (EQUAL FRANCHISE) 

ACT, 1928 

18 and 19 Geo. 5, c. 12 

' 1 . For the purpose of providing that the parliamentary franchise 
shall be the same for men and women, subsections (1) and (2) of 
section four of the Representation of the People Act, 1918 (in this Act 
referred to as “the principal Act”) shall be repealed and the following 
sections shall be substituted for sections one and two of that Act: — 

{Section to be substituted for the said section one.) 

. — (1) 4 person shall be entitled to be registered as a parlia- 
mentary elector for a constituency (other than a university constitu- 
ency), if he or she is of full age and not subject to any legal incapacity; 
and 

( a ) has the requisite residence qualification ; of 
{b) has the requisite business premises qualification; or 
(r) is the husband or wife of a person entitled to be so registered in 
respect of a business premises qualification. 

(2) A person, in order to have the requisite residence qualification 
or business premises qualification for a constituency — 

{a) must on the last day of the qualifying period be residing in premises 
in the constituency, or occupying business premises in the consti- 
tuency, as the case may be; and . 

{b) must during the whole of the qualifying period have resided in 
premises, or occupied business premises, as the case may be, in the 
constituency, or in another constituency within the same parlia- 
mentary borough or parliamentary county, or within a parlia- 
mentary borough or parliamentary county contiguous to that 
borough or county, or separated from that borough or county by 
water, not exceeding at the nearest point six miles m breadth, 
measured in thS case of tidal water from low-water mark. 

% 

For the purposes of this subsection the administrative county of 
London shall be treated as* a parliamentary borough. 



42 


Statutes 


(3) The expression ‘business premises 5 in this section means land or 
other premises of the yearly value of not less than ten pounds occupied 
for the purpose of the business, profession, or trade of the person to 
be registered. 55 

(Section to be substituted for the said section two.) 

“ . A person shall be entitled to be registered as a parliamentary 
elector for a university constituency if he or she is of full age and not 
subject to any legal incapacity, and has received a degree (other than 
an honorary degree) at any university forming, or forming part of, 
the constituency, or in the case of the Scottish universities is qualified 
under section twenty-seven of the Representation of the People (Scot- 
land) Act, 1868, or, if a woman, has been admitted to and passed the 
final examination, and kept under the conditions required of women 
by the university, the period of residence, necessary for a man to 
obtain a degree at any university forming, or forming part of, a 
university constituency which did not at the time the examination 
was passed admit women to degrees. 55 

2. For the purpose of providing that the local government franchise 
shall be the same for men and women, subsection (3) of section four 
of the principal Act shall be repealed, and the following section shall 
be substituted for section three of that Act: 

r 

“ .A person shall be entitled to be registered as a local government 
elector for a local government electoral area if he or she is of full age 
and not subject to any legal incapacity, and — 

(a) is on the last day of the qualifying period occupying as owner or 
tenant any land or premises in that area; and 

(b) has during the whole of the qualifying period so occupied any land 
or premises in that area, or, if that area is not an administrative 
county or a county borough, in any administrative county or 

f county borough in which the area is wholly or partly situate ; or 

(c) is the husband or wife of a person entitled to be so registered in 
respect of premises in which both the person so entitled and the 

^ husband or wife, as the case may be, reside : 

Provided that — 

(i) for the purposes of this section a person who inhabits any dwelling- 
house by virtue of any office, service, or employment, shall, if the 
dwelling-house is not inhabited by the person in whose service he 
or she is in such office, service, or employment, be deemed to 
occupy the dwelling-house as a tenant; and 

(ii) for the purposes of this section the word ter*ant shall include a 
• person who occupies a room or rooms as a lodger only where the 

room or rooms is or are let to that person in an unfurnished state ; 



Representation of the People Act, IQ 28 43 

(iii) for the purpose of paragraph (c) of this section, a naval or military 
voter who is registered in respect of a residence qualification 
which he or she would have had but for his or her service shall be 
deemed to be resident in accordance with that qualification/ 5 

[§ 3. Consequential amendments to 8 Geo. 5, c. 64.] 

[§ 4. No person is to vote at a general election for more than one constitu- 
ency for which he or she has a residence qualification, or for more than one 
constituency for which he or she has any other qualification.] 

[§ 5. The Fourth Schedule to the principal Act . . . shall have effect as if for 
the word “sevenpence” there were substituted the word “sixpence.”] 

[§§ 6-8 and one Schedule omitted.] 


LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1929 
19 Geo. 5, c. 17 

Part I 
Poor Law 

Transfer and Administration of Functions 

1. On the appointed day the functions of each poor law authority, 
shall, subject to the provisions of this Act and except as otherwise 
expressly provided by this Act, be transferred to the council of the 
county or county borough comprising the pooulaw area for which the 
poor law authority acts, or, if the poor law area is not wholly com- 
prised within one county or county borough, the functions of the poor 
law authority so far as they relate to any county or county borough 
into which the area extends shall be transferred to the council thereof, 
and as from the appointed day all then existing poor law authorities 
shall cease to exist. 

[§ 2. Duties of local authorities in regard to infant life protection and 
vaccination.] 

3. — (1) Where any two or more councils, whether councils of 
counties or county boroughs, consider that it is expedient that the 
areas of the councils should be combined for any purpose connected 
with the administration of the functions transferred or to be transferred 
under this part of this Act and make application to the Minister for the 
purpose, the Minister may make an order for combining the areas of 
the councils for th^ purposes named therein. 

(2) Where it appears to the Minister that the combination of^he 
areas of any two or more councils . . . would tend to diminish expense, 
or would otherwise be of public or local advantage, the Minister^may 



44 Statutes 

make an order for combining the areas of the councils for the purposes 
named therein: 

Provided that an order shall not be made under this subsection, 
except after a local inquiry, unless all the councils whose areas are to 
be so combined consent. . . . 

(6) An order under this section shall be laid before Parliament as 
soon as may be after it is made. 

4 . The council of every county and county borough shall prepare, 
and within six months after the commencement of this Act submit to 
the Minister, a scheme (hereinafter referred to as an administrative 
scheme) of the administrative arrangements proposed to be made for 
discharging the functions transferred to the council under this Part of 
this Act. . . . 

[§ 5. Provisions as to alternative powers of giving assistance.] 

6 . — (1) An administrative scheme shall provide for the constitution 

of a committee of the council (hereinafter referred to as the public 
assistance committee) 

7 . — (1) In the case of a county the administrative scheme shall 
provide — 

(a) for the division of the county into areas, each area consisting of 

one or more districts, and for the constitution for e^ch such area 

of a local sub-committee of the public assistance committee (to be 

called the guardians committee of the area) consisting of not more 

than thirty-six nor less than twelve members. . . . 

<=> • 

8. — (1) As soon as an administrative scheme has been submitted to 
the Minister, the council submitting the scheme shall publish in one 
or more newspapers circulating in their area a notice stating that the 
scheme has been so submitted and that a copy thereof is open to 
inspection at a specified place, and that representations thereon may 
be made to the Minister within four weeks after the publication of the 
notice, and in the case of a scheme submitted by a county council shall 
send a copy of the scheme to the council of each district wholly or 
partly within the county. 

(2) No scheme so submitted to the Minister shall be of any effect 
unless and until it is approved by the Minister, and the Minister, after 
considering any representations with respect to the scheme which may 
be submitted to him within four weeks after the publication of such 
notice as aforesaid by any local authorities and other parties who 
appear to him to be interested, and after consultation (if and so far as 
the scheme relates to education) with the Board of Education, may 
approve the scheme with or without modifications. 

(3) If a council fail to submit to the Minister an administrative 
scheme within the time allowed for the ^purpose, the Minister may, 



45 


Local Government Act , igzg 

after consultation [as in (2)] himself make an administrative scheme 
[under the conditions in (1)], and shall consider any representations 
•which may be submitted to him . . . , and any scheme so made shall 
have effect as if it were a scheme submitted by the council and approved 
by the Minister. 

[§§ 9-16 deal with the councils’ powers to acquire land, disqualifications 
for membership of councils, consultations with hospital authorities, assessment 
committees, recovery of expenses from those maintained in institutions who 
are able to pay, and the consequential repeal and amendment of certain Acts.] 

17 . Separate accounts shall be kept by the council of every county 
borough of their receipts and expenditure in respect of the functions . . . 
transferred to them under this Part of this Act, . . . and those accounts 
shall be made up and audited in like manner and subject to the same 
provisions as in the case of a county council, and the enactments 
rdating to the audit of the accounts of a county council and to all 
matters incidental thereto and consequential thereon, including penal 
provisions, shall apply in lieu of the provisions of the Municipal 
Corporations Act, 1882, relating to accounts and audit. 

[§ 18. Application to London.] 

[§§ 19-20. Application to guardians appointed, or constituted under a local 
Act.] 

• Part II 

Registration of Births. Deaths and Marriages 

On the appointed day the function^ of boards of guardians 
under the Registration Acts in relation to a registration district and to 
any sub-districts comprised therein shall — 

(a) if the registration district is wholly comprised within one county or 
county borough, be transferred to the council of that county or 
county borough; 

(b) if the registration district is not wholly comprised within one county 
or county borough, be transferred to the council of the county or 
county borough which is estimated by the Registrar-General to con- 
tain on the first day of January preceding the appointed day tSe 
larger or largest part of the population of the registration district; 

and the functions so transferred are in this Part of this Act referred to 
as “transferred functions.” 

[§§ 22— 2 3. •Registration officers to become salaried officials.] 

[§ 24. Councils to submit to the Minister schemes for dividing their area* 
into registration districts.] 

[§ 25. Salary of the ^Registrar-General.] 

[§ 26. Methods of notifying births and deaths.] 

[§ 27. Application to London.] 

[§ 28. Construction of previous Acts.] 


Ebg 



46 


Statutes 


Part III 

Roads and Town Planning 

Roads 

29 . — (1) The council of every county shall be the highway authority 
as respects every road in the county which at the appointed day is a 
main road, or which would, apart from this section, at any time there- 
after have become a main road, and every such road and every other 
road as respects which a county council becomes by virtue of this Part 
of this Act the highway authority, shall be termed a county road, and 
all enactments relating to main roads shall as from the appointed day 
have effect as if for references therein to main roads there were sub- 
stituted references to county roads. . . . 

30 . — (1) As from the appointed day, every county council shall be 
the highway authority as respects such part of the county as is for the 
time being comprised in any rural district and as respects the highways 
therein, and as such shall hav£ all such functions under the Highway 
Acts, 1835 to *885, as were exercisable by rural district councils who 
by virtue of the Local Government Act, 1894, became successors of 
highway boards, and rural district councils shall cease to be highway 
authorities. , . . 

31 . — (1) As from the appointed day, the county council shall be the 
highway authority as respects all classified roads which, immediately 
before the appointed day, were vested in the councils of urban districts 
within the county. . . .. 

32 . — (1) Where an urban district has a population exceeding twenty 
thousand, the urban district council may claim to exercise the functions 
of maintenance and repair of any county road within their district, and 
if a claim is made within the time hereinafter limited, then, as from 
such date as in hereinafter mentioned, the urban district council shall 
be entitled to exercise those functions, and the road shall vest in that 
council, and for the purpose of the maintenance, repair and improve- 
ment of, and other dealing with, any such road, that council shall 
have the same functions as if they were as respects that road the 
highway authority and the road were an ordinary road vested in 
them. . . . 

[§ 33 * County councils to contribute towards the maintenance of county 
roads by urban district councils.] 

[§§ 34-36. Maintenance of unclassified roads.] 

[§§ 37~39- Miscellaneous.] 

Town Planning 

40 . — (1) Where after the appointed day the council of a county 
and^y local authority or local authorities under the Town Planning 



Local Government Act , igsg 47 

Act, 1925, are desirous of acting jointly in the preparation or adoption 
of a town planning scheme, they shall be entitled to do so, and the 
•council and the local authority or authorities may concur in appoint- 
ing out of their respective bodies a joint committee for the purpose, 
and in conferring, with or without restrictions, on such a joint com- 
mittee any powers which the local authority or local authorities might 
exercise for the purpose. . . . 

[§41. Minister’s power to combine two or more councils, after holding a 
local inquiry, if necessary.] 

[§§ 42-45 provide for the relinquishing of powers by district councils to 
county councils, amendments, etc.] 

Part IV 

Miscellaneous Local Government Provisions 
Rearrangement of County Districts 

46 . — (1) The Council of every county shall as soon as may be after 
the commencement of this Act, after conferences with representatives 
of the councils of the several districts wholly or partly within the 
county, review the circumstances of all such districts and consider 
whether it is ^desirable to effect any of the following changes: 

{a) any alteration of definition of the boundaries of any such district 
or of any parish ; 

(b) the union of any such district or parish with another such district 

or parish; # 

(c) the transfer of any part of such district or parish to another district 
or parish; 

(d) the conversion of any such district or any part thereof, if it is a 
rural district, into an urban district, or if it is an urban district, 
into or so as to form part of a rural district; 

(e) the formation of any new district or parish; 

and shall forthwith after the review is completed as respects the whole 
or any part of the county, and before the first day of April nineteen 
hundred and thirty- two, or such later date as the Minister may in any 
case allow, send to the Minister a report of the review, together with 
proposals as to the changes, if any, which they consider desirable : 

Provided that, before making any such proposals the county council 
shall consult with the councils of the county boroughs adjoining the 
county, and the Minister shall give those councils an opportunity of 
laying before him Jheir views on the proposals made by tine county 
council. * 

(2) The proposals may include proposals for the transfer of a part 
of a non-county borough te another district, or of another district or 



Statutes 


48 

part of another district to a non-county borough, and, if the council 
of the county borough concerned agree, for an alteration of boundaries 
between a county borough and the county and any district therein 
but, save as aforesaid, the proposals shall not affect any borough. 

(3) As soon as any proposals are made to the Minister, the council 
making the proposals shall send copies thereof to the councils of the 
several districts affected thereby and shall publish in one or more 
newspapers circulating in those districts a notice stating that proposals 
have been made and that a copy thereof is open to inspection at a 
specified place, and that representations with respect thereto may be 
made to the Minister within six weeks after the publication of the 
notice. 

(4) The Minister shall consider the proposals and any representa- 
tions with respect to the proposals, or any of them, which may have 
been made by any local authorities (including parish councils a»d 
parish meetings) or any local government electors affected thereby, 
and either may make an order giving effect to the proposals, or any 
of them, with or without modifications, or may refuse to make such an 
order : 

Provided that, if an objection with respect to any proposal is made 
by a local authority affected thereby, and is not withdrawn, the 
Minister shall not make an order giving effect to the proposal without 
first holding a local inquiry into the objection. 

(5) If, either on representations made by a district council or other- 
wise it appears to the Minister, after consultation with such authorities 
as appear to him to be- interested; that there is a prima facie case for 
making any such change as aforesaid, and that the county authorities 
have failed to make a proposal for the purpose within the time allowed, 
the Minister shall publish in one or more newspapers circulating in the 
districts affected a notice stating that he proposes to make the change, 
and that a copy of his proposals is open to inspection at a specified 
place, and that representations with respect thereto may be made to 
him within six weeks after the publication of the notice; and the 
Minister after considering any representations which may be made 
within that period, and, if any objections are made by any local 
authority and are not withdrawn, after holding a local inquiry with 
respect to the proposals to which the objections relate, may make an 
order effecting the change or such modified change as appears to him 
to be expedient. . . . 

(7) An order under this section shall be laid before PaVliament as 
soon as may be after it is made. 

47 . — (x) A county council may subsequently whenever they think 
it desirable, and shall if so required by the Minister, review generally 
the circumstances of the districts within the county, so, however, that 
the interval between the original review and the first review under this 



Local Government Act , ig2g 49 

section, or between any two reviews under this section, shall in no 
case be less than ten years. . . . 

[§ 48. Saving of powers under, and amendment to, the Local Government 
Act, 1888.] 

49 . — (1) Where at the commencement of this Act any district or 
parish is not wholly comprised within one county, or where a part of a 
county is wholly detached therefrom, the county councils concerned 
shall as soon as may be take the case into consideration, and if as a 
result of such consideration a joint representation is made to the 
Minister by those councils, the Minister may, after holding a local 
inquiry, except in cases where he is satisfied that an inquiry is unneces- 
sary, by order make such alteration of the counties as may be necessary 
to secure that the whole of the district or parish shall be within a single 
county, or to provide that such detached part shall be included in or 
divided amongst the county or counties surrounding it. 

(2) The Minister may, on a joint representation being made by the 
council of a county and the council of a county borough, after holding 
a local inquiry, except in cases where he is satisfied that an inquiry 
is unnecessary, by order alter or define the boundary between the 
county and the county council. 

(3) An orcfer under this section shall be laid before Parliament as 
soon as may be after it is made. 

[§ 50* County councils are to review electoral districts.] 

f§§ 51-62. Miscellaneous.] • * 

[§ 63. Councils to provide, with the Ministers approval, hospital accom- 
modation for infectious disease.] 

[§ 64. The Minister may, on the application of the London County Council, 
transfer or delegate functions to metropolitan borough councils. The order is 
to be laid before Parliament.] 


Part V 

Rating and Valuation 

Relief from Rates 

61 . — (1) No person shall, in respect of any period beginning on or 
after the appointed day, be liable to pay rates in respect of any agricul- 
tural land or agricultural buildings or be deemed to be in occupation 
thereof for rating purposes, and notwithstanding anything in the prin- 
cipal Act, or in the Rating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act, 1928, 
no such land or buildings shall be included in any rate made^in respect 
of a period beginning on or after that date. 

[(2) Agricultural land shall be deemed to have no rateable value.] 

[§ 68. Relief from rates of industrial and freight transport hereditaments.] 



50 


Statutes 


Part VI 

Exchequer Grants and Other Financial Provisions 
Discontinued Grants 

85. — (i) The grants set out in the Second Schedule to this Act 1 . . . 
shall cease to be payable. . . . 

General Exchequer Contributions 

86 . — (i) There shall be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament 
in respect of . . . each . . . year, an annual contribution towards 
local government expenses in counties and county boroughs to be 
called the c ‘General Exchequer Contribution.” 

(2) The amount of the General Exchequer Contribution shall be 
periodically revised; the amount first fixed shall be for a period of 
three years beginning on the appointed day, the amount fixed on the 
first revision shall be for a period of four years from the expiration of 
the first period, the amount fixed on any subsequent revision shall 
be for a period of five years from the expiration of the previous 
period, and a period for which the General Exchequer Contribution 
is so fixed is hereinafter referred to as a “fixed grant period.” 

(3) The amount of the General Exchequer contribution shall be 
the sum of the following amounts, that is to say : 

(a) an amount equal to the totgf losses on account of rates of all 
counties and county boroughs: 

(b) an amount equal to the total losses on account of grants of all 
counties and county boroughs: 

(c) in respect of each year in the first fixed grant period, five million 
pounds, and in respect of each year of every following fixed 

- period such amount as Parliament may hereafter determine with 
respect to the fixed grant period so, however, that the proportion 
which the General Exchequer Contribution for any fixed grant 
period bears to the total amount of rate and grant borne 
expenditure in the penultimate year of the preceding fixed 
grant period shall never be less than the proportion which the 
General Exchequer Contribution for the first fixed grant period 
bore to the total amount of rate and grant borne expenditure in the 
first year of that fixed grant period. . . . 

87. — (i_) Towards the General Exchequer Contribution there shall 
at such times and in such manner as the Treasury* may direct be paid 
ovrt of the Road Fund ... an annual contribution. . . . 

1 Grants payable out of the Consolidated Fund; grants in aid of certain health 
services; road grants 



Local Government Act , ig2g 51 

88 . — (1) The General Exchequer Contributions shall be appor- 
tioned amongst the several counties and county boroughs in manner 

• hereinafter following, that is to say : 

(a) during the first four fixed grant periods there shall out of the 
General Exchequer Contribution for each year be apportioned to 
each county or county borough an amount equal to the appro- 
priate percentage of the losses on account of rates and grants of the 
county or county borough: 

(b) during the first four fixed grant periods the residue, and thereafter 
the whole, of every General Exchequer Contribution, shall each 
year be apportioned amongst the several counties and county 
boroughs in proportion to their weighted populations. 

(2) The amount apportioned under this section to a county shall be 
called “the county apportionment 5 ’ and the amount so apportioned to a 
county borough shall be called “the county borough apportionment. 55 

89. Out of the county apportionment of every county other than the 
county of London there shall be set aside such amount as will be 
sufficient to pay to the councils of districts situate wholly or partly 
within the county the sums hereinafter directed to be so set aside; the 
residue of the county apportionment after such sums as aforesaid have 
been so set aside, shall be paid to the council of the county and shall 
be called the “General Exchequer Grant 55 of that council: 

Provided that, if in the case of any county the county apportionment 
is less than the amount to be so set aside, the deficiency shall be paid 
out of moneys provided by Parliament, and ti*e sums so paid shall be 
treated as part of the county apportionment. 

[§ 90. Provision for an “additional Exchequer Grant 5 ’ to counties.] 

[§§ 9 I- 94* Grants to county districts.] 

95. The whole of every county borough apportionment shall be paid 
to the council of the county borough and the sum so paid shall ’be 
called the “General Exchequer Grant 55 of that council. 

[§§ 96-97. Additional Exchequer Grants to county boroughs.] ^ 

f§§ 98-100. Grants to the county of London and the metropolitan boroughs.] 
[§§ 101-102. Payments by councils to voluntary associations.] 

103. The grants under this Part of this Act shall be payable to the 
councils entitled thereto at such times and in such manner as the 
Treasury shall direct. 

104. The Minister may reduce the grant payable in respect of any 
year under this Part of the Act to any council by such amount as he 
thinks just, if, — • 

% 

(a) he is satisfied, either upon representations made to him by any 
association or other body of persons experienced or interested in 



52 


Statutes 


matters relating to public health or without any such representa- 
tions that the council have failed to achieve or maintain a reason- 
able standard of efficiency and progress in the discharge of their 
functions relating to public health services, regard being had to 
the standards maintained in other areas whose financial resources 
and other relevant circumstances are substantially similar, and 
that the health or welfare of the inhabitants of the area of the 
council or some of them has been or is likely to be thereby endan- 
gered; or 

( b ) he is satisfied that the expenditure of the council has been 
excessive and unreasonable, regard being had to the financial 
resources and other relevant circumstances of the area; or 

(c) the Minister of Transport certifies that he is satisfied that the 
council have failed to maintain their roads or any part thereof in 
a satisfactory condition: 

Provided that, whenever the Minister makes such a reduction, he 
shall make and cause to be laid before Parliament a report stating the 
amount of the reduction, and the reasons therefor. 

108. — (i) The Minister may make regulations for giving effect to 
the provisions of this Part of this Act. . . . 

(4) All regulations made under this Part of this Act shall be laid 
before Parliament as soon as may be after they are mad^. 

[§§ 1 09-1 12 of Part VI and Part VII (Property Liabilities and Officers) 
omitted.] 

Part VIII 
General 

130. — (x) If any difficulty arises in connection with the application 
of this Act to any exceptional area, or in bringing into operation any 
of 'the provisions of this Act, the Minister may make such order for 
removing the difficulty as he may judge to be necessary for that pur- 
pose, and any such order may modify the provisions of this Act so far as 
may appear to the Minister necessary for carrying the order into effect: 

Provided that the Minister shall not exercise the powers conferred 
by this section after the thirty-first day of December, nineteen hundred 
and thirty. 

(2) Every order made under this section shall come into operation 
upon the date specified therein in that behalf, but shall be laid before 
Parliament as soon as may be after it is made and shall cease to have 
effect upon the expiration of a period of three months from the date 
upon which it came into operation, unless at some time before the 
expiration of that period it has been approved by a resolution passed 
by each House of Parliament; 



Local Government Act, ig2g 53 

Provided that, in reckoning any such period of three months as 
aforesaid, no account shall be taken of any time during which Pariia- 
.ment is dissolved or prorogued, or during which both Houses are 
adjourned for more than four days. 

[§§ 131-138 and twelve schedules omitted.] 


HOUSING ACT, 1930 
20 and 21 Geo. 5, c. 39 

[Part I of the Act gives local authorities, with the approval of the Minister 
of Health, powers to require the clearance or improvement of buildings in 
unhealthy areas, and, in certain circumstances, powers of compulsory pur- 
chase.] 

11 . — (1) The provisions of this section shall have effect with respect 
to the validity of clearance orders an^f compulsory purchase orders 
made under this Act, and the date on which such an order is to come 
into operation. 

(2) So soon as may be after an order has been confirmed by the 
Minister, the local authority shall publish in a newspaper circulating 
in their district a notice in the prescribed form stating that the order 
has been confirmed, and naming a place where a copy of the order as 
confirmed and of the map referred to therein may be seen at all reason- 
able hours, and shall serve a like notice on ev^ry person who, having 
given notice to the Minister of his objection to the order, appeared at 
the public local inquiry in support of his objection. 

(3) If any person aggrieved by an order desires to question its 
validity on the ground that it is not within the powers of this Act or 
that any requirement of this Act has not been complied with, he may, 
within six weeks after the publication of the notice of confirmation, 
make an application for the purpose to the High Court, and where 
any such application is duly made the court — 

• 

(i) may by interim order suspend the operation of the order either 
generally or in so far as it affects any property of the applicant 
until the final determination of the proceedings ; and 

(ii) if satisfied upon the hearing of the application that the order is 
not within the powers of this Act or that the interests of the appli- 
cant have been substantially prejudiced by any requirement of this 
Act not having been complied with, may quash the oilier either 

generally or in #0 far as it affects any property of the applicant. 

• 

(4) Subject to the provisions of the last preceding subsection, an 
order shall not, either before or after its confirmation, be questioned 



Statutes 


54 

by prohibition or certiorari or in any legal proceedings whatsoever, 
and shall become operative at the expiration of six weeks from the 
date on which notice of its confirmation is published in accordance 
with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section. 

(5) Except by leave of the Court of Appeal, no appeal shall lie to 
the House of Lords from a decision of the Court of Appeal in proceed- 
ings under this section. 

(6) So soon as may be after an order has become operative, the local 
authority shall serve a copy thereof on every person on whom a notice 
was served by them of their intention to submit the order to the 
Minister for confirmation. 


IMPORT DUTIES ACT, 1932 
22 Geo. 5, c. 8 


Most Gracious Sovereign, 

We, Your Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, the Commons 
of the United Kingdom in Parliament assembled, with a view to the 
restricting in the national interest of the importation of snoods into the 
United Kingdom, to the providing of a remedy in cases where a 
foreign country discriminates in the matter of importation as against 
goods produced or manufactured in the United Kingdom, in certain 
other parts of Your Majesty’s dominions or in territories under Your 
Majesty’s protection or in respect of which a mandate is being exercised 
by Your Majesty’s Government of the United Kingdom, and to the 
making of an addition to the public revenue, have freely and volun- 
tarily resolved to give and grant unto Your Majesty the duties for 
which provision is hereinafter contained; and do therefore most 
humbly beseech Your Majesty that it may be enacted, and be it 
enacted, by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice 
and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in 
tins present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, 
as follows: 


Part I 

General ad valorem Duty and Additional Duties 

1, — (1) As from the first day of March, nineteen hundred and thirty- 
two, there shall, subject to the provisions of this Aqf, be charged on all 
gouds imported into the United Kingdom, other than goods exempted 
as hereinafter provided from the provisions of this section, a duty of 
customs equal to ten per cent, of the valuer of the goods. 



Import Duties Act , ig $2 55 

(2) The following goods shall be exempted from the provisions of this 
section — 

(a) goods for the time being chargeable with a duty of customs by or 
under any enactment other than this Act, but not including (sub- 
ject to the provisions of this Act) any composite goods in the case 
of which duty is chargeable under any such enactment as afore- 
said because some (but not all) of their components are articles so 
chargeable ; 

(£) goods of any class or description specified in the First Schedule to 
this Act or added to that Schedule by an order made under the 
next following subsection. 

(3) The Treasury, after receiving a recommendation from the Com- 
mittee to be constituted under the following provisions of this Act that 
g«ods of any class or description ought to be exempted from the pro- 
visions of this section, and after consultation with the appropriate 
department, may by order direct that goods of all or any of the classes 
or descriptions specified in the recommendation shall be added to the 
First Schedule to this Act: 

Provided that, except in such cases as seem to them of special 
urgency, the said Committee shall not take into consideration the 
question whether any recommendation ought to be made under this 
subsection until the expiration of six months from the passing of this 
Act, 

(4) The duty imposed by this section is in this Act referred to as 

“the general ad valorem duty. 55 . . • 

2 . — (1) For the purpose of giving advice and assistance in connec- 
tion with the discharge by the Treasury of their functions under this 
Act, there shall be constituted a committee, to be called “the Import 
Duties Advisory Committee, 55 consisting of a chairman and not less 
than two or more than five other members to be appointed by the 
Treasury. 

(2) The members of the Committee shall hold office for a period of 

three years and shall be eligible for re-appointment from time to time 
on the expiration of their term of office. # 

If a member becomes, in the opinion of the Treasury, unfit to con- 
tinue in office or incapable of performing his duties under this Act, 
the Treasury shall forthwith declare his office to be vacant and shall 
notify the fact in such manner as they think fit, and thereupon the 
office shall become vacant. 

(3) The Committee shall, as soon as may be after the commencement 
of this Act, take int<j consideration the provisions of this Act, and shall, 
from time to time, take into consideration any representations which 
may be made to them with respect to matters on which, under the 
provisions of this Act, acticfti may be taken on a recommendation by 



Statutes 


56 

the Committee, and may make recommendations to the Treasury 
with respect to the matters aforesaid. 

(4) The Treasury shall publish in such manner as they think fit any' 
recommendation made to them by the Committee as soon as may be 
after they have made an order in pursuance of the recommendation 
or have determined to make no order on the recommendation. 

(5) The expenses of the Committee to such an amount as may be 
approved by the Treasury (including the expenses of their staff and 
such salaries or other remuneration paid to all or any of the members 
as the Treasury may determine) shall be paid out of moneys provided 
by Parliament. 

(6) The Committee may make rules — 

(< a ) for regulating the proceedings, including the quorum, of the 
Committee; and 

(b) for authorising the delegation of any of the functions of the 
Committee to a sub-committee consisting of members of the Com- 
mittee. 

« 

(7) The Committee, so far as they consider it necessary or desirable 
so to do for the purpose of the proper discharge of their functions, may 
by notice in writing require any person to furnish them with returns 
or other information, or, subject to the payment or Render of the 
reasonable expenses of his attendance, to attend as a witness before 
them or before any person authorised by them and to give evidence 
or to produce documents, and if any person fails without reasonable 
excuse to comply with* the provisions of any such notice, he shall be 
liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds, and 
in the case of a second or subsequent conviction to a fine not exceeding 
two hundred pounds : 

Provided that the power of the Committee under this subsection to 
require a person to attend as a witness before a person authorised by 
them shall not be exercised unless the Committee are satisfied that, 
having regard to the nature of the proposed inquiry, it can be con- 
ducted more conveniently or more efficiently by a person so authorised 
t£an by the Committee, and that the person proposed to be authorised 
possesses the necessary qualifications for the purpose. 

(8) The Committee or any person authorised by them shall have 
power to take evidence on oath s and for that purpose to administer 
oaths. 

3 . — (1) Where it appears to the Committee that an additional duty 
of customs ought to be charged in respect of goods of any class or des- 
cription which are chargeable with the general a$ valorem duty and 
wl>ich, in their opinion, are either articles of luxury or articles of a kind 
which are being produced or are likely within a reasonable time to be 
produced in the United Kingdom in quantities which are substantial 



Import Duties Act, 1932 57 

in relation to United Kingdom consumption, the Committee may 
recommend to the Treasury that an additional duty ought to be 
•charged on goods of that class or description at such rate as is specified 
in the recommendation. 

(2) In deciding what recommendation, if any, to make for the pur- 
poses of this section, the Committee shall have regard to the advisa- 
bility in the national interest of restricting imports into the United 
Kingdom and the interests generally of trade and industry in the 
United Kingdom, including those of trades and industries which are 
consumers of goods as w r ell as those of trades and industries which are 
producers of goods. 

(3) The Treasury, after receiving a recommendation from the Com- 
mittee that an additional duty of customs ought to be charged on goods 
of any class or description, may, if they think fit so to do, and after 
CQnsultation with the appropriate Department, by order direct that 
such additional duty of customs as is specified in the order (being a 
duty at a rate not exceeding the rate specified in the recommendation) 
shall be charged on the importation into the United Kindom of goods 
of all or any of the classes or description specified in the recommenda- 
tion, and an additional duty so directed to be charged shall for all 
purposes be deemed to be chargeable under this section. . . . 

[§§ 4 - 5 . Imperial preference.] 

19 . — (1) Any order made by the Treasury or the Board of Trade 
under this Act shall be laid before the Commons House of Parliament 
as-soon as may be after it is made. * « 

(2) Any such order as aforesaid imposing a duty of customs shall 
cease to have effect on the expiration of a period of twenty-eight days 
from the date on which it is made, unless at some time before the 
expiration of that period it has been approved by resolution passed by 
that House, but without prejudice to anything previously done there- 
under or to the making of a new order. 

(3) Any such order as aforesaid, other than an order imposing a duty 
of customs, shall cease to have effect if the Commons House of Parlia- 
ment within a period of twenty-eight days from the date on which tSe 
order is laid before the House, resolves that the order shall be annulled, 
but without prejudice to anything previously done thereunder or to 
the making of a new order. 

(4) In reckoning any such period of twenty-eight days as aforesaid 
no account shall be taken of any time during which Parliament is dis- 
solved or prorogued, or during which the Commons House is adjourned 
for more than four jlays. 

(5) Any such order as aforesaid may be varied or revoked b^ a 
subsequent order made in the like manner and subject to the like 
provisions : 



Statutes 


5 8 

Provided that — 

(< a ) this subsection shall not apply to an order made under section one 
of this Act; and 

(b) an order made on the recommendation of the Committee may, not- 
withstanding any further recommendation and without any further 
recommendation, be revoked or varied by the Treasury as they 
think fit, after consultation with the appropriate Department, 
except that the rate of an additional duty shall not be increased 
above the rate specified in the original recommendation without a 
further recommendation. 

[§§ 20-23 and three schedules omitted.] 


LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1933 
23 and 24 Geo. 5, c. 51 

r 

Part I 

CONSTITUTION AND ELECTIONS 

Local Government Areas 

1 . — (1) For the purpose of local government, England and Wales 
(exclusive of London) shall be divided into administrative counties 
and county boroughs, r and administrative counties shall be divided 
into county districts, being either non-county boroughs, urban dis- 
tricts or rural districts, and county boroughs and county districts shall 
consist of one or more parishes. 

[(2) Refers to the First Schedule, enumerating the local government areas.] 

(3) Every county borough shall, with respect to the functions which 
the council of the borough discharge, form a separate administrative 
area. 

# Administrative Counties 

Constitution of County Councils 

2. — (1) For every administrative county there shall be a county 
council consisting of the chairman, county aldermen and county coun- 
cillors, and the council shall have all such functions as are vested in the 
county council by this Act or otherwise. 

(2) Thb county council shall be a body corporate . . . and shall have 
perpetual succession and a common seal and power to hold land for 
the purposes of their constitution without licence in mortmain. 

£§§. 3-5. Election of the chairman and vice-chairman of the council.] 



Local Government Act , 1333 


59 


County Aldermen 

6. — (i) The county aldermen shall be elected by the county council 
•from among the county councillors or persons qualified to be county 
councillors. 

(2) The number of county aldermen shall be one-third of the whole 
number of county councillors or, if that number is not divisible by 
three, one-third of the highest number below that number which is 
divisible by three. . . . 

(4) In every third year, being the year in which county councillors 
are elected, one half as near as may be of the whole number of county 
aldermen, being those who have been county aldermen for the longest 
time without re-election, shall retire immediately after the election of 
the new county aldermen, and their places shall be filled by the 
newly elected county aldermen who shall come into office on that day. 

• 7 . — (1) The ordinary election of county aldermen shall be held in 
every third year, being the year in which county councillors are 
elected, at the annual meeting of the county council, and shall take 
place immediately after the election of the chairman. . . . 

County Councillors 

8 . — (1) The county councillors shall be elected by the local govern- 
ment electors for the county in manner provided by this Act. 

(2) The term of office of county councillors shall be three years, 
and they shall retire together in every third year, on the eighth day of 
March, and their places shall be filled by the newlv-elected councillors, 
who shall come into office on that day. , 

[§ 9. Elections to be held in March.] 

Election of County Councillors 

10 . For the purpose of the elec den of county councillors, every 
county shall be divided into electoral divisions, each returning one 
councillor, and there shall be a separate election for each electoral 
division. 

[§§ 11-16, Electoral details.] 

Boroughs 

[§ 17. Name of corporations and constitution of councils of boroughs.] 

The Mayor 

18 . — (1) The mayor shall be elected annually by the council of the 
borough from among the aldermen or councillors of the borough or 
persons qualified to be aldermen or councillors of the borofigh. 

(2) The term of office of the mayor shall be one year. ... # 

(3) During his term of office, the mayor shall continue to be a 
member of the council. . . 



60 Statutes 

(4) The council may pay to the mayor such remuneration as they 
think reasonable. 

(5) The mayor shall have precedence in all places in the borough 

Provided that nothing in this sub-section shall prejudicially affect 

Plis Majesty’s royal prerogative. . . . 

(7) The mayor shall, by virtue of his office, be a justice of the peace 
for the borough. . . . 

(8) The mayor of a non-county borough, shall, in addition, during 
his term of office be a justice of the peace for the county in which the 
borough is situate. . . . 

(9) The mayor, if present, shall be entitled to preside at all meetings 
of justices of the peace held in the borough. . . . 

[§§ 19-20. Election of mayor, and power of mayor to appoint a deputy.] 
Aldermen 

21 . — (1) The aldermen of a borough shall be elected by the council 
of the borough from among the councillors or persons qualified to be 
councillors of the borough. 

(2) The number of aldermen shall be one-third of the whole number 
of councillors. 

(3) If a councillor is elected to, and accepts the office of, alderman 
of the borough, his office of councillor shall thereupon become vacant. 

(4) The term of office of an alderman of a borough shall be six years, 
and one half, as near as may be, of the whole number of aldermen, 
being those who have been aldermen for the longest time without 
re-election, shall retire in every third year immediately after the 
election of the new aldermen, and their places shall be filled by the 
newly-elected aldermen who shall come into office on that day. 

Councillors 

23 . — (1) The councillors of a borough shall be elected by the local 
government electors for the borough in manner provided by this Act. 

(2) The term of office . . . shall be three years, and one third of 
the whole number of councillors . . . shall retire in every year on the 
first day of November. . . . 

(3) The ordinary day of election of councillors shall be the first day 
of November. 

[§§ 24-30. Electoral details.] 

Urban and Rural Districts 

31 . — (i) For every urban district there shall £>e an urban district 
council consisting of the chairman and councillors, and the council 
shall have all such functions as are vested in the urban district council 
by this Act or otherwise. . . . 



6i 


Local Government Act , 1933 

32. — ( 1 ) Subject to the provisions of this Act, for every rural district 
there shall be a rural district council consisting of the chairman and 
•councillors. . . . 

[§§ 33~4 2 * Electoral details.] 


Rural Parishes 

43. — ( 1 ) For every rural parish there shall be a parish meeting, and, 
subject to the provisions of this Act, for every rural parish or group 
of parishes having a parish council immediately before the commence- 
ment of this Act there shall continue to be a parish council. 

( 2 ) If a rural parish has not a separate parish council, the county 
council shall by order establish a parish council for that parish — 

{a) if the population of the parish is three hundred or upwards; or 
(b) if, in the case of a parish having a population of two hundred or 
upwards but under three hundred, the parish meeting of the 
parish so resolve, 

• 

and the county council may, in the case of a parish having a population 
of less than two hundred, by order establish a parish council for that 
parish if the parish meeting so resolve. . . . 

44. — ( 1 ) Where the population of a rural parish having a separate 
parish council is less than two hundred, the parish meeting may 
petition the county council for the dissolution of the parish council, 
and thereupon the county council may by order dissolve the parish 
council, and from such date as maybe specified in the order this Act 
shall apply to that parish as to a parish not having a separate parish 
council. 

( 2 ) Where a petition for an order under this section is rejected, 
another petition for the same purpose may not be presented within 
two years from the presentation of the previous petition. 

45. — ( 1 ) The parish meeting of a rural parish may apply to the 
county council for an order grouping the parish with some neighbour- 
ing parish or parishes in the same county under a common parish 
council, and the county council may thereupon make an order (in this 
Act referred to as “a grouping order”) accordingly: 

Provided that — 

(a) no parish shall be so grouped without the consent of the parish 
meeting of that parish ; and 

(b) unless the county council for special reasons otherwise direct, the 
grouped parishes shall be within the same rural district . \ . . 



62 


Statutes 


Part III 

COMMITTEES AND JOINT COMMITTEES 

General Power of Local Authorities to Appoint Committees 

85 . — (i) A local authority may appoint a committee for any such 
general or special purpose as in the opinion of the local authority 
would be better regulated and managed by means of a committee, 
and may delegate to a committee so appointed, with or without 
restrictions or conditions, as they think fit, any functions exercisable 
by the local authority either with respect to the whole or a part of the 
area of the local authority, except the power of levying, or issuing a 
precept for, a rate, or of borrowing money. . . . 

(2) A committee appointed under this section (other than a com- 
mittee for regulating and controlling the finance of the local authority 
or of their area) may include persons who are not members of the 
local authority: 

Provided that at least two-thirds of the members of every committee 
shall be members of the local authority. . . . 

Finance Committees of County Councils , etc. 

86 . — (1) A county council shall appoint a finance committee con- 
sisting of such number of members of the council as they think fit for 
regulating and controlling the finance of the county, and shall .fix 
the term of office of the members of the committee. 

(2) Subject to the provisions of any enactment relating to the 
standing joint committee or to any other statutory committee, no 
costs, debt or liability exceeding fifty pounds shall be incurred by a 
county council except upon a resolution of the council passed on an 
estimate submitted by the finance committee. 

87 . — (1) A rural district council may, at a meeting specially con- 
vened for the purpose, appoint for any one or more contributory 
places within their district a parochial committee consisting either 
wholly of members of the district council or partly of such members 
and partly of local government electors for such contributory place or 
places, as the council may determine. . . . 

(2) A rural district council may delegate to a parochial committee, 
with or without restrictions or conditions, as they think fit, any func- 
tions exercisable by them within the contributory place or places for 
which the committee is formed, except the power of levying a rate or 
borrowing money. 

(3) If a rural district council refuse to appoint a parochial com- 
mittee for a contributory place after receiving a request to that effect 



Local Government Act> 1933 63 

from the parish council or parish meeting of a parish which is wholly 
or in part comprised in the contributory place, the parish council or 
•parish meeting may petition the Minister and the Minister may by 
order direct the rural district council to appoint a parochial com- 
mittee for that contributory place. 

88 . — (1) A rural district council may delegate to a parish council 
any functions which, under the preceding section, may be delegated 
to a parochial committee, and thereupon that section shall apply as if 
the parish council were a parochial committee. . . . 

Joint Committees 

91 . — (x) A local authority may concur with any one or more other 
local authorities in appointing from amongst their respective members 
adjoint committee of those authorities for any purpose in which they 
are jointly interested, and may delegate to the committee, with or 
without restrictions or conditions, as they think fit, any functions of 
the local authority relating to the purpose for which the joint com- 
mittee is formed, except the power of levying, or issuing a precept for, 
a rate, or of borrowing money. , . . 

[§ 92. Joint committees for parts of parishes.] 

[§ 93. Expenses of joint committees to be defrayed by the local authorities 
by whom the committee is appointed.] 

[§§ 94 ~ 7 * General provisions relating to joint committees.] 

[Parts IV (Officers) and V (Offices and Buildings) omitted.] 


Part VI 

ALTERATION OF AREAS- 

129 . — (1) If, on a petition presented to His Majesty by the council 
of an urban or rural district praying for the grant of a charter of 
incorporation, His Majesty, by the advice of His Privy Council, thinks 
fit by charter to create the district or any part thereof with or without 
any adjoining area a borough, and to incorporate the inhabitants 
thereof, it shall be lawful for His Majesty by the charter to extend to 
that borough and the inhabitants thereof so incorporated the provisions 
of this Act relating to boroughs. 

(2) A petition for a charter of incorporation shall not be presented 
except upon a resolution passed by a majority of the whole number 
of members of the council of the district at a meeting specially con- 
vened for that purpose, and confirmed by a like majority at a second 
meeting of the council specially convened for that purpose not earl&r 
than one month after the passing of the resolution. . . . 

136 . Nothing in this or # any other public general Act or in*any 



Statutes 


64 

scheme made under this Part of this Act shall authorise the establish- 
ment in a borough of a new separate police force not consolidated with 
the county police force, unless the population of the area which is* 
created a borough, according to the census last published before the 
date of the petition for the charter, was twenty thousand or 
upwards. . . . 

139 . The council of a borough shall not promote a Bill for the pur- 
pose of constituting the borough a county borough, unless the popula- 
tion of the borough is seventy-five thousand or upwards. 

[§§ 1 40-1 45 (Alterations of Boundaries), § 146 (Review of Areas by County 
Councils, § 147 (Changes of Name of District or Parish), and §§ 148-155 
(Miscellaneous) omitted.] 

Part VII 

ACQUISITION OF, AND DEALINGS IN, LAND 

159 . — (1) A county council may be authorised to purchase com- 
pulsorily any land, whether situate within or without the county, 
for the purpose of any of their functions under this or any other public 
general Act, including any such functions as are exercised through 
the standing joint committee. 

(2) The council of a borough or urban or rural district may be 
authorised to purchase compulsorily any land, whether situate within 
or without the area of the local authority, for any of the purposes of 
the Public Health Acts, 1875 to 1932. 

160 . — (1) The following provisions of this section shall have effect 
with respect to the compulsory purchase of land by a local authority 
in cases where power to authorise the local authority to purchase land 
compulsorily is conferred — 

(a) by this Act; or 

(b) by any enactment or statutory order in force immediately before 
the commencement of this Act and incorporating or applying 
section one hundred and seventy-six of the Public Health Act, 

" 1875; or 

(c) by any enactment passed or statutory order made after the com- 
mencement of this Act empowering the Minister to authorise the 
local authority to purchase land compulsorily by means of a 
provisional order made by him and confirmed by Parliament. 

(2) The local authority shall publish in one or more local newspapers 
circulating in the locality in which the land proposed to be purchased 
is situate a notice describing the land and staging the purpose for 
vs’hich the land is required. 

(3) The local authority shall serve in the prescribed manner on every 
owner, lessee and occupier (excppt tenants for a month or any period 



Local Government Act , iggg 65 

less than a month) of the land proposed to be purchased, a notice in the 
prescribed form indicating in each case the particular land intended 
•to be purchased and the purpose for which the land is required, and 
stating that the authority propose to request the Minister to make a 
provisional order empowering them to purchase the land compulsorily, 
and specifying the time within which and the manner in which 
objections can be made to the proposed order. 

(4) On compliance with the foregoing provisions of this section, the 
local authority may request the Minister to make a provisional order 
empowering them to purchase the land compulsorily. 

(5) If no objection is duly made by any of the persons upon whom 
notices are required to be served, or if all objections so made are with- 
drawn, the Minister, upon being satisfied that the proper notices have 
been published and served, may, if he thinks fit, make a provisional 
onder authorising the local authority to purchase compulsorily the 
land comprised in the order, but in any other case he shall, before 
making the provisional order, cause a local inquiry to be held, and 
shall consider any objection not withdrawn and the report of the 
person w 7 ho held the inquiry: 

Provided that the Minister may require any person who has made 
an objection to state in writing the grounds thereof, and may make a 
provisional or$er without causing a local inquiry to be held, if satisfied 
that every objection duly made and not withdrawn relates exclusively 
to matters which can be dealt with by the tribunal by whom the 

compensation is to be assessed. . . . 

• • • 

[§ 16 1. Procedure for compulsory purchase of land by means of an order 
confirmed by the Minister.] 

162 . — (1) If any person aggrieved by a compulsory purchase order 
(other than a compulsory purchase order which is provisional only 
unless and until it is confirmed by Parliament) desires to question its 
validity, he may, within two months after the publication of the notice 
of confirmation in accordance with the provisions of the last preceding 
section, make an application for the purpose to the High Court, an^i 
if upon any such application the court are satisfied that the order is 
invalid, and, where the invalidity of the order arises from a failure to 
comply w r ith any provision governing the procedure for the making 
or confirmation thereof, are further satisfied that the interests of the 
applicant have been substantially prejudiced by that failure, the court 
may quash the order either generally or in so far as it affects any 
property of the applicant. * 

(2) Subject to tfys provisions of the last preceding subsection a 
compulsory purchase order shall not, either before or after its ccfft- 
firmation, be questioned by prohibition or certiorari or in any legal 
proceedings. 



66 


Statutes 


(3) Except by leave of the Court of Appeal, no appeal shall lie to the 
House of Lords from a decision of the Court of Appeal in proceedings 
under this section. 

[§§ 163-179. Miscellaneous provisions relating to the acquisition and dis- 
posal of lands.] 

[Part VIII (Expenses) and Part IX (Borrowing) omitted.] 


Part X 

ACCOUNTS AND AUDIT 

219. The following accounts shall be subject to audit by a district 
auditor under this Part of this Act, that is to say, — 

(a) the accounts of every county council, metropolitan borough 
council, urban district council, rural district council and parish 
council, and of every parish meeting for a rural parish not having 
a parish council; 

(. b ) the accounts of any committee appointed by any such council or 
parish meeting; 

(c) the accounts of any joint committee constituted under Part III of 
this Act or under any enactment repealed by this Act, of which one 
or more of the constituent authorities are a county or metropolitan 
borough or district or parish council or the council of a borough 
all of whose accounts are subject to audit by a district auditor; 

(d) any other accounts*) which are^made subject to audit by a district 
auditor by virtue of any enactment or statutory order or, in the 
case of the accounts of the council of a borough, by virtue of a 
resolution adopting the system of district audit passed by the 
council in accordance with the provisions of this Part of this Act: 

Provided that in relation to any audit of accounts under paragraph 
(d) of this section this Part of this Act shall have effect subject to the 
provisions of the relevant enactment or statutory order. 

^ 228. — (1) It shall be the duty of the district auditor at every audit 
held by him — 

(< a ) to disallow every item of account which is contrary to law; 

(b) to surcharge the amount of any expenditure disallowed upon the 
person responsible for incurring or authorising the expenditure ; 

(r) to surcharge any sum which has not been duly brought into account 
upon^the person by whom that sum ought to have been brought 
into account; r 

(u*) to surcharge the amount of any loss or deficiency upon any person 
by whose negligence or misconduct the loss or deficiency has been 
incurred; 



Local Government Act , 1933 67 

(e) to certify the amount due from any person upon whom he has 
made a surcharge; 

'(f) to certify at the conclusion of the audit his allowance of the accounts, 
subject to any disallowances or surcharges which he may have made: 

Provided that no expenses paid by an authority shall be disallowed 
by the auditor, if they have been sanctioned by the Minister. . . . 

229. — (1) Any person who is aggrieved by a decision of a district 
auditor . . . may, where the disallowance or surcharge or other decision 
relates to an amount exceeding five hundred pounds, appeal to the 
High Court, and may in any other case appeal either to the High 
Court or to the Minister. 

(2) The Court or Minister on such an appeal shall have power to 
confirm, vary or quash the decision of the auditor, and to remit the 
case to the auditor with such directions as the Court or Minister thinks 
fif for giving effect to the decision on appeal. . . . 

237. — (1) In every borough there shall, unless and until any such 
alternative method of audit as hereinafter mentioned is in force at 
the commencement of this Act or is adopted by the council, be three 
borough auditors, two elected by the local government electors for the 
borough, called elective auditors, and one appointed by the mayor, 
called mayor’s auditor. . . . 

239. — (1) The council of a borough may, by means of a resolution 
passed and confirmed in accordance with the provisions of this section, 
adopt either — 

(a) the system of district aud::: or • 

(b) the system of professional audit. . . . 

[Part XI (Local Financial Act urns) omitied.] 

Part XII 


BYELAWS 

249. — (1) A county council and the council of a borough may mal^ 
byelaw r s for the good rule and government of the whole or any part 
of the county or borough, as the case may be, and for the prevention 
and suppression of nuisances therein : 

Provided that byelaws made under this section by a county council 
shall not have effect in any borough. 

(2) The confirming authority in relation to byelaws made under this 
section shall be the Secretary of State, except that as respect^ byelaws 
relating to public health or to any other matter which, in the opinion 
of the Secretary of State and of the Minister [of Health], concerns tfee- 
functions of the Minister rather than those of the Secretary of State the 
confirming authority shall fte the Minister. 



68 


Statutes 


(3) The validity of a byelaw made under this section and confirmed 
by the Secretary of State or by the Minister shall not be questioned 
in any legal proceedings on the ground that the Secretary of State or- 
the Minister, as the case may be, is not the confirming authority in 
relation to that byelaw. 

(4) Where by or under any enactment in force in any area provision 
is made for the prevention and suppression in a summary manner of 
any nuisance, power to make byelaws under this section for that 
purpose shall not be exercisable as respects that area. 

(5) The council of an urban or rural district shall have power to 
enforce byelaws made by a county council under this section which are 
for the time being in force in the district or any part thereof. 

[Parts XIII (Local Bills), XIV (Freemen), XV (General Provisions) and 
eleven Schedules omitted.] 


HIS MAJESTY’S DECLARATION OF ABDICATION ACT, 1936 

1 Edw. 8, c. 3 

An Act to give effect to His Majesty s declaration of ab dilation; and for 
purposes connected therewith . 

[ nth December 1936*.] 

Whereas His Majesty by His Royal Message of the tenth day* of 
December in this present year has been pleased to declare that He is 
irrevocably determined to renounce the Throne for Himself and His 
descendants, and has for that purpose executed the Instrument of 
Abdication set out in the Schedule to this Act, and has signified His 
desire that effect thereto should be given immediately: 

And whereas, following upon the communication to His Dominions 
of His Majesty’s said declaration and desire, the Dominion of Canada 
pursuant to the provisions of section four of the Statute of Westminster, 
1931, has requested and consented to the enactment of this Act, and 
the Commonwealth of Australia, the Dominion of New Zealand, and 
the Union of South Africa have assented thereto: 

Be it therefore enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by 
and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, 
and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the 
authority, of the same, as follows : 

1 . — (1) Immediately upon the Royal Assent being signified to this 
- — ict the Instrument of Abdication executed by His present Majesty on 
the tenth day of December, nineteen hundred and thirty-six, set out in 
the Schedule to this Act, shall h^ve effect^ and thereupon His Majesty 



Abdication Act , igg 6 69 

shall cease to be King and there shall be a demise of the Crown, and 
accordingly the member of the Royal Family then next in succession 
■to the Throne shall succeed thereto and to all the rights, privileges, 
and dignities thereunto belonging. 

(2) His Majesty, His issue, if any, and the descendants of that issue, 
shall not after His Majesty’s abdication have any right, title or interest 
in or to the succession to the Throne, and section one of the Act of 
Settlement shall be construed accordingly. 

(3) The Royal Marriages Act, 1772, shall not apply to His Majesty 
after His abdication nor to the issue, if any, of His Majesty or the 
descendants of that issue. 

2 . This Act may be cited as His Majesty’s Declaration of Abdication 
Act, 1936. 

Schedule 

% 

I, Edward, the Eighth, of Great Britain, Ireland, and the British 
Dominions beyond the Seas, King, Emperor of India, do hereby 
declare My irrevocable determination to renounce the Throne for 
Myself and for My descendants, and My desire that effect should be 
given to this Instrument of Abdication immediately. 

In token whereof I have hereunto set My hand this tenth day of 
December, nineteen hundred and thirty-six, in the presence of the 
witnesses whose signatures are subscribed. 

Edward R.I. 

Signed at Fort Belvedere 
* in the presence of 
Albert. 

Henry. 

George. 


PUBLIC ORDER ACT, 1936 
1 Edw, 8 and 1 Geo. 6, c. 6 

1. — (1) Subject as hereinafter provided, any person who in any 
public place or at any public meeting wears uniform signifying his 
association with any political organisation or with the promotion of 
any political object shall be guilty of an offence: 

Provided that, if the chief officer of police is satisfied that the wearing 
of any such uniform as aforesaid on any ceremonial, anniversary ^-or^ 
other special occasion will not be likely to involve risk of public dis- 
order, he may, with the eonsent of a Secretary of State, by order 



Statutes 


70 

permit the wearing of such uniform on that occasion either absolutely 
or subject to such conditions as may be specified in the order. 

(2) Where any person is charged before any court with an offence- 
under this section, no further proceedings in respect thereof shall be 
taken against him without the consent of the Attorney-General except 
such as the court may think necessary by remand (whether in custody 
or on bail) or otherwise to secure the due appearance of the person 
charged, so, however, that if that person is remanded in custody he 
shall, after the expiration of a period of eight days from the date on 
which he was so remanded, be entitled to be discharged from custody 
on entering into a recognisance without sureties unless within that 
period the Attorney-General has consented to such further proceedings 
as aforesaid. 

2 . — (1) If the members or adherents of any association of persons, 
whether incorporated or not, are — 

{a) organised or trained or equipped for the purpose of enabling them 
to be employed in usurping the functions of the police or of the 
armed forces of the Grown; or 

(b) organised and trained or organised and equipped either for the 
purpose of enabling them to be employed for the use or display of 
physical force in promoting any political object, or in such manner 
as to arouse reasonable apprehension that they are organised and 
either trained or equipped for that purpose; 

then any person who takes part in the control or management of the 
association, or in so organising or 'training as aforesaid any members 
or adherents thereof, shall be guilty of an offence under this section: 

Provided that in any proceedings against a person charged with the 
offence of taking part in the control or management of such an associa- 
tion as aforesaid it shall be a defence to that charge to prove that he 
neither consented to nor connived at the organisation, training, or 
equipment of members or adherents of the association in contravention 
of the provisions of this section. 

(2) No prosecution shall be instituted under this section without the 
consent of the Attorney-General. 

(3) If upon application being made by the Attorney-General it 
appears to the High Court that any association is an association of 
which members or adherents are organised, trained, or equipped in 
contravention of the provisions of this section, the Court may make 
such order as appears necessary to prevent any disposition without 
the leave of the Court of property held by or for the association and in 
accordance with rules of court may direct an inquiry and report to be 

^ as to any such property as aforesaid and as to the affairs of the 

association and make such further orders as appear to the Court to 
be just and equitable for the application of*Such property in or towards 



re- 


public Order Act , 1936 

the discharge of the liabilities of the association lawfully incurred 
before the date of the application or since that date with the approval 
•of the Court, in or towards the repayment of moneys to persons who 
became subscribers or contributors to the association in good faith and 
without knowledge of any such contravention as aforesaid, and in or 
towards any costs incurred in connection with any such inquiry and 
report as aforesaid or in winding-up or dissolving the association, and 
may order that any property which is not directed by the Court to be 
so applied as aforesaid shall be forfeited to the Crown. 

(4) In any criminal or civil proceedings under this section proof of 
things done or of words written, spoken or published (whether or not 
in the presence of any party to the proceedings) by any person taking 
part in the control or management of an association or in organising, 
training or equipping members or adherents of an association shall be 
admissible as evidence of the purposes for which, or the manner in 
which, members or adherents of the association (whether those persons 
or others) were organised, or trained, or equipped. 

(5) If a judge of the High Court is satisfied by information on oath 
that there is reasonable ground for suspecting that an offence under 
this section has been committed, and that evidence of the commission 
thereof is to be found at any pi~emises or place specified in the informa- 
tion, he may, # on an application made by an officer of police of a rank 
not lower than that of inspector, grant a search warrant authorising any 
such officer as aforesaid named in the warrant together with any other 
persons named in the warrant and any other officers of police to enter 
the premises or place at any time within one month from the date of 
the warrant, if necessary by force, and to search the premises or place 
and every person found therein, and to seize anything found on the 
premises or place or on any such person which the officer has reason- 
able ground for suspecting to be evidence of the commission of such an 
offence as aforesaid: 

Provided that no woman shall, in pursuance of a warrant issued 
under this subsection, be searched except by a woman. 

(6) Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting the 
employment of a reasonable number of persons as stewards to assist m 
the preservation of order at any public meeting held upon private 
premises, or the making of arrangements for that purpose or the instruc- 
tion of the persons to be so employed in their lawful duties as such 
stewards, or their being furnished with badges or other distinguishing 
signs. 

3. — (j) if the chief officer of police, having regard to the time or 
place at which and the circumstances in which any public procession 
is taking place or is intended to take place and to the route taken*£^ 
proposed to be taken by the procession, has reasonable ground for 
apprehending that the procession maj T occasion serious public disorder, 



Statutes 


72 

he may give directions imposing upon the persons organising or taking 
part in the procession such conditions as appear to him necessary for 
the preservation of public order, including conditions prescribing the' 
route to be taken by the procession and conditions prohibiting the 
procession from entering any public place specified in the directions : 

Provided that no conditions restricting the display of flags, 
banners, or emblems shall be imposed under this subsection except 
such as are reasonably necessary to prevent risk of a breach of the 
peace. 

(2) If at any time the chief officer of police is of opinion that by 
reason of particular circumstances existing in any borough or urban 
district or in any part thereof the powers conferred on him by the last 
foregoing subsection will not be sufficient to enable him to prevent 
serious public disorder being occasioned by the holding of public pro- 
cessions in that borough, district or part, he shall apply to the council 
of the borough or district for an order prohibiting for such period not 
exceeding three months as may be specified in the application the 
holding of all public processions or of any class of public procession 
so specified either in the borough or urban district or in that part 
thereof, as the case may be, and upon receipt of the application the 
council may, with the consent of a Secretary of State, make an order 
either in terms of the application or with such modifications as may 
be approved by the Secretary of State. 

This subsection shall not apply within the City of London as defined 
for the purposes of the Acts relating to the City police or within the 
Metropolitan police district. 

(3) If at any time the Commissioner of the City of London police or 
the Commissioner of police of the Metropolis is of opinion that, by 
reason of particular circumstances existing in his police area or in any 
part thereof, the powers conferred on him by subsection (1) of this 
section will not be sufficient to enable him to prevent serious public 
disorder being occasioned by the holding of public processions in that 
area or part, he may, with the consent of the Secretary of State, make 
an order prohibiting for such period not exceeding three months as 
may be specified in the order the holding of all public processions or 
of any class of public procession so specified either in the police area 
or in that part thereof, as the case may be. 

(4) Any person who knowingly fails to comply with any directions 
given or conditions imposed under this section, or organises or assists 
in organising any public procession held or intended to be held 
in contravention of an order made under this section or incites 
any person to take part in such a procession, shall be guilty of an 

^ n ^ nr.p. 

4 . — (1) Any person who, while present at any public meeting or on 
the occasion of any public profession, tfes with him any offensive 



Public Order Act , igj 6 73 

weapon, otherwise than in pursuance of lawful authority, shall be 
guilty of an offence. 

• (2) For the purposes of this section, a person shall not be deemed to 

be acting in pursuance of lawful authority unless he is acting in his 
capacity as a servant of the Grown or of either House of Parliament 
or of any local authority or as a constable or as a member of a recog- 
nised corps or as a member of a fire brigade. 

5 . Any person who in any public place or at any public meeting 
uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent 
to provoke a breach of the peace or whereby a breach of the peace is 
likely to be occasioned, shall be guilty of an offence. 

6 . Section one of the Public Meeting Act, 1908, (which provides 
that any person who at a lawful public meeting acts in a disorderly 
manner for the purpose of preventing the transaction of the business 
fotf which the meeting was called together, or incites others so to act, 
shall be guilty of an offence) shall have effect as if the following 
subsection were added thereto — 

“(3) If any constable reasonably suspects any person of committing an 
offence under the foregoing provisions of this section, he may if 
requested so to do by the chairman of the meeting require that 
person to declare to him immediately his name and address and, 
if that person refuses or fails so to declare his name and address 
or gives a false name and address he shall be guilty of an offence 
under this subsection and liable on summary conviction thereof 
to a fine not exceeding forty shillings, and if he refuses or fails 
so to declare his name and address or if tfie constable reasonably 
suspects him of giving a false name and address, the constable 
may without warrant arrest him.” 

7 . — (1) Any person who commits an offence under section two of 
this Act shall be liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a 
term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding one hundred 
pounds, or to both such imprisonment and fine, or, on conviction on 
indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or to 
a fine not exceeding five hundred pounds, or to both such imprisonment 
and fine. 

(2) Any person guilty of any other offence under this Act shall be 
liable on summary conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceed- 
ing three months or to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds, or to both 
such imprisonment and fine. 

(3) A constable may without warrant arrest any person reasonably 
suspected by him to be commitdng an offence under sectioi? one, four 
or five of this Act. • 

[§ 8. Application to Scotland.] 

[§ 9. Interpretation, etc.] 



Statutes 


74 

10 . — (i) This Act may be cited as the Public Order Act, 1936. 

(2) This Act shall not extend to Northern Ireland. 

(3) This Act shall come into operation on the first day of January 
nineteen hundred and thirty-seven. 


MINISTERS OF THE CROWN ACT, 1937 
1 Edw. 8 and 1 Geo. 6, c. 38 

Part I 

Salaries and Pension 

1. — (1) The annual salaries payable — 

(a) to each of the Ministers of the Crown named in Part I of the First 
Schedule to this Act, shall? subject to the provisions of this Act as 
to number, be five thousand pounds; 

(b) to each of the Ministers of the Crown named in Part II of the said 
Schedule, shall be three thousand pounds; 

(c) to the Minister of the Crown named in Part III of thecaid Schedule, 
shall be two thousand pounds. 

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act as to number, the annual 
salaries payable to the Parliamentary Under-Secretaries to the Depart- 
ments of State shall — 

(a) in the case of the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury, be three 
thousand pounds, and in the case of the Financial Secretary to the 
Treasury, be two thousand pounds; 

(£) in the case of the Secretary for Mines and of the Secretary of the 
Department of Overseas Trade, be two thousand pounds each; 

(e) in the case of each of the Parliamentary Under-Secretaries to the 
Departments of State specified in the Second Schedule to this Act, 
other than the Parliamentary Secretaries mentioned in the last 
foregoing paragraph, be fifteen hundred pounds; 

(d) in the case of the Assistant Postmaster-General, be twelve hundred 
pounds : 

Provided that, if and so long as there are two Parliamentary Under- 
secretaries to the Foreign Office, to the Admiralty, or to the War 
Qffice, the annual salary payable to each of the two Parliamentary 
Under-Secretaries may be of such amount as may be determined by 
the Treasury, but so that the aggregate of the annual salaries payable 
to both of them does not exceed ^hree thousand pounds. 



Ministers of the Crown Act , iggj 75 

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Act as to number, the annual 
salaries payable to each of the Junior Lords of the Treasury shall be 
.one thousand pounds. 

^ 2 . — (1) The number of persons holding office as Secretary of State 
to whom salaries may be paid under this Act shall not exceed eight. 

(2) The number of Parliamentary Under-Secretaries to the Depart- 
ments of State to whom salaries may be paid under this Act shall — 

(a) in the case of the Treasury, not exceed two; 

(b) in the case of the Board of Trade, not exceed three, including the 
Secretary for Mines and the Secretary of the Department of 
Overseas Trade; 

(c) in the case of the Foreign Office, of the War Office, and of the 
Admiralty, not exceed two; 

(d) in the case of any other Department of State mentioned in the 
% Second Schedule to this Act, and in the case of the Post Office, not 

exceed one. 

(3) The number of the Junior Lords of the Treasury to whom salaries 
may be paid under this Act shall not exceed five. 

3 . — (1) If and so long as any Minister of the Crown to whom this 
section applies is a member of the Cabinet, there shall be paid to him 
an additional salary of such amount as together with the salary pay- 
able to him m respect of the office held by him will amount to five 

^/thousand pounds a year. 

(2) The date upon which any Minister of the Crown to whom this 
section applies becomes or ceases to*be a member of the Cabinet shall 
be published in the London Gazeue, and any such notification shall be 
conclusive evidence for the purposes of this section. 

(3) This section applies to any Minister of the Crown named in 
Part II of the First Schedule to this Act, and to the Chancellor of the 
Duchy of Lancaster, if, in any case, his salary as such is less than five 
thousand pounds a year. 

4 . — (1) There shall be paid to the person who is Prime Minister and 
First Lord of the Treasury an annual salary of ten thousand pounds. 

(2) Any person who, whether before or after the passing of this AcT^ 
has been Prime Minister and has as First Lord of the Treasury taken 
the official oath prescribed by section five of the Promissory Oaths Act, 
1868, shall be entitled to a pension of two thousand pounds a year: 

Provided that no pension shall be payable under this subsection to 
any person so long as he is in receipt of any pension under the Political 
Offices Pension Act, 1869, or any salary payable out of moneys pro- 
vided by Parliament, the revenues of the Duchy of Lancaster or the 
Consolidated Fund t>f the United Kingdom. 

5 . There shall be paid to the Leader of the Opposition an annual 
salary of two thousand pounds : 



Statutes 


76 

Provided that, if the Leader of the Opposition is in receipt of a 
pension payable to him under this Act, no salary shall be payable to 
him under this section, and if he is in receipt of a pension under the- 
Political Offices Pension Act, 1869, the salary payable to him under 
this section shall be reduced by an amount equal to the amount of 
that pension. 

6 . — (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act as to the payment of 
additional salaries to certain Cabinet Ministers, a person to whom 
any salary is payable under this Act, shall be entitled to receive only 
one such salary, but if he is the holder of two or more offices in respect 
of which a salary is so payable and there is a difference in the salaries 
payable in respect of those offices, the office in respect of which salary 
is payable to him shall be that in respect of which the highest salary 
is payable. 

(2) No person in receipt of a salary or pension under this Act shall 
be entitled to receive any sum out of moneys provided by Parliament 
by way of salary or allowance in respect of his membership of the House 
of Commons. r . 

7 . — (1) The salaries payable under this Act, except that payable to 
the Leader of the Opposition, shall be paid out of moneys provided 
by Parliament. 

(2) The salary payable under this Act to the Leader of the Opposi- 
tion, and any pension payable under this Act to a person who has been 
Prime Minister and First Lord of the Treasury, shall be charged on 
and payable out of the Consolidated Fund of the United Kingdom or 
the growing produce thereof. 

8. The amount specified in this Act as being the amount of any 
salary payable thereunder out of moneys provided by Parliament shall 
be taken to be the maximum amount so payable, and accordingly, 
notwithstanding the provisions of this Act as to any such amount, the 
salary so payable in any year in respect of any office may be of a less 
amount than that so specified. 


Part II 

Capacity to Sit in the House of Commons 

9 . — (1) Subject as hereinafter provided no person to whom a salary 
is payable under this Act shall by reason of his being the holder of the 
office or place in respect of which such a salary is payable, be rendered 
incapable of being elected, or of sitting and voting, as a member of 
the House of Commons : 

Provided that — 

L't) the number of persons entitled to sit and vote^in that House while 

^ they are Ministers of the Crown named in Part I of the First 
Schedule to this Act shall not exceed ffifteen; 



Ministers of the Crown Act , iggy 77 

(b) the number of persons entitled to sit and vote in that House while 
they are Ministers of the Crown named in Part II of the said 
, Schedule shall not exceed three; and 
(< c ) the number of persons entitled to sit and vote in that House while 
they are Parliamentary Under- Secretaries shall not exceed twenty. 

(2) If at any time the number of persons who are members of the 
House of Commons while they are Ministers of the Crown named in 
Part I or in Part II of the First Schedule to this Act, or while they are 
Parliamentary Under-Secretaries, exceeds the number respectively 
entitled under this section to sit and vote in that House, the election 
of those members shall not be invalidated by reason of the excess, but 
of the number none except any who held his office and was a member 
of that House before the excess occurred, shall sit or vote therein 
until the number of Ministers of the Crown named in the said Part I 
or % in the said Part II or of Parliamentary Under-Secretaries, as the 
case may be, who are members of the House of Commons has been 
reduced, by death, resignation or otherwise, to the number entitled 
under this section to sit and vote in that House. 

(3) If any Minister of the Crown named in Part I or in Part II of 
the First Schedule to this Act or any Parliamentary Under-Secretary 
sits or votes in the House of Commons at a time when he is not entitled 
to do so by virtue of this section he shall be liable to a penalty not 
exceeding five hundred pounds for each day on which he so sits or 
votes. 

. * « 

Part III 

Supplementary 

10. — (1) In this Act unless the context otherwise requires the follow- 
ing expressions have the meanings hereby respectively assigned to them, 
that is to say; — 

“Junior Lords of the Treasury” means the Lords Commissioners of the 
Treasury other than the First Lord and the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer; 

“Leader of the Opposition” means that member of the House of 
Commons who is for the time being the Leader in that House of 
the party in opposition to His Majesty’s Government having the 
greatest numerical strength in that House; 

“Parliamentary Under-Secretary” means the Parliamentary Secretary 
and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury, any Parliamentary 
Under-Secretar^ of State, the Parliamentary and Financial Sec%-. 
tary to the Admiralty, the Financial Secretary of the War Office, 
the Civil Lord of the Admiralty, # the Parliamentary Secretaries to 

Gbg 



78 


Statutes 


the Departments of State specified in the Second Schedule to this 
Act, and the Assistant Postmaster-General; but does not include 
any Parliamentary Secretary to whom no salary is payable. 

(2) For the purposes of this Act, the Secretary of the Department of 
Overseas Trade shall be deemed to be a Parliamentary Secretary to 
the Board of Trade, but without prejudice to the provisions of the 
Overseas Trade Department (Secretary) Act, 1918, relating to the 
method of his appointment and the functions to be discharged by him. 

(3) If any doubt arises as to which is or was at any material time 
the party in opposition to His Majesty’s Government having the 
greatest numerical strength in the House of Commons, or as to who 
is or was at any material time the leader in that House of such a party, 
the question shall be decided for the purposes of this Act by the 
Speaker of the House of Commons, and his decision, certified in 
writing under his hand, shall be final and conclusive. . . . 

Firs,t Schedule 

Ministers of the Crown to whom Salaries are payable under this Act 

Part I 

Chancellor of the Exchequer. 

Secretaries of State. 

First Lord of the Admiralty. 

President of the Board of Trade. 

Minister'of Agriculture and Fisheries. 

President of the Board of Education. 

Minister of Health. 

Minister of Labour. 

Minister of Transport. 

Minister for the Co-ordination of Defence. 

Part II 

Lord President of the Council. 

Lord Privy Seal. 

Postmaster-General. 

First Commissioner of Works. 

Part III 

r Minister of Pensions. 

[Second, Third and Fourth Schedules omitted.] 



Administration of Justice Act , ig$8 


79 


ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE (MISCELLANEOUS 
PROVISIONS) ACT, 1938 
1 and 2 Geo. 6, c. 63 

7. — (i) The prerogative writs of mandamus, prohibition and 
certiorari shall no longer be issued by the High Court. 

(2) In any case where the High Court would, but for the provisions 
of the last foregoing subsection, have had jurisdiction to order the 
issue of a writ of mandamus requiring any act to be done, or a writ 
of prohibition prohibiting any proceedings or matter, or a writ of 
certiorari removing any proceedings or matter into the High Court 
or any division thereof for any purpose, the Court may make an order 
requiring the act to be done, or prohibiting or removing the proceed- 
ings or matter, as the case may be. 

(3) The said orders shall be called respectively an order of man- 
damus, an order of prohibition and an order of certiorari. 

(4) No return shall be made to any such order and no pleadings in 
prohibition shall be allowed, but the order shall be final, subject to 
any right of appeal therefrom. 

(5) In any enactment references to any writ of mandamus, prohibi- 
tion or certioi^ri shall be construed as references to the corresponding 
order and references to the issue or award of any such writ shall be 
construed as references to the making of the corresponding order. 

8 . The power of the High Court under any enactment to require 
justices of the peace or a judge or dfficer of a county court to do any 
act relating to the duties of their respective offices, or to require any 
court of summary jurisdiction or court Gf quarter sessions to state a 
case for the opinion of the Court, in any case where immediately 
before the commencement of this Act the Court had by virtue of any 
enactment jurisdiction to make a rule absolute or to make an order, 
as the case may be, for any of those purposes, shall be exercisable by 
order of mandamus. 

9 . — (1) Informations in the nature of quo warranto are hereby 
abolished. 

(2) In any case where any person acts in an office in which he is 

not entitled to act and an information in the nature of quo warranto 
would, but for the provisions of the last foregoing subsection, have lain 
against him, the High Court may grant an injunction restraining him 
from so acting and may (if the case so requires) declare the office to 
be vacant. * 

(3) No proceedings for an injunction under this section shall be 
taken by a person who would not immediately before the commence- 
ment of this Act have been entitled to apply for an information in the 
nature of quo warranto. 



8o 


Statutes 


EMERGENCY POWERS (DEFENCE) ACT, 1939 
2 and 3 Geo. 6, c. 62 

1. — (i) Subject to the provisions of this section, His Majesty may by 
Order in Council make such Regulations (in this Act referred to as 
“Defence Regulations 55 ) as appear to him to be necessary or expedient 
for securing the public safety, the defence of the realm, the maintenance 
of public order and the efficient prosecution of any war in which His 
Majesty may be engaged, and for maintaining supplies and services 
essential to the life of the community. 

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the powers conferred by 

the preceding subsection, Defence Regulations may, so far as appears 
to His Majesty in Council to be necessary or expedient for any of the 
purposes mentioned in that subsection, — * 

(a) make provision for the apprehension, trial and punishment of 
persons offending against the Regulations, and for the detention of 
persons whose detention appears to the Secretary of State to be 
expedient in the interests of the public safety or the defence of the 
realm; 

(b) authorise — 

(i) the taking of possession or control, on behalf of His Majesty, 
of any property or undertaking; 

(ii) the acquisition, on behalf of His Majesty, of any property other 
than land; 

(c) authorise the entering and search of any premises; and 

id) provide for amending any enactment, for suspending the operation 
of any enactment, and for applying any enactment with or without 
modification. 

(3) Defence Regulations may provide for empowering such authori- 
ties, persons or classes of persons as may be specified in the Regulations 
to make orders, rules and byelaws for any of the purposes for which 
juch Regulations are authorised by this Act to be made, and may 

contain such incidental and supplementary provisions as appear to His 
Majesty in Council to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the 
Regulations. 

(4) A Defence Regulation, and any order, rule or byelaw duly made 
in pursuance of such a Regulation, shall have effect notwithstanding 
anything inconsistent therewith contained in any enactment other 
than thig Act or in any instrument having effect by virtue of any 
enactment other than this Act. 

V (5) Nothing in this section shall authorise the imposition of any form 
of compulsory naval, military or air force service or any form of indus- 
trial conscription, or the making of pro'Wsion for the trial by courts 



Emergency Powers [Defence) Act , 1939 81 

martial of persons not being persons subject to the Naval Discipline 
Act, to military law or to the Air Force Act. 

• (6) In this section the expression “enactment” includes any enact- 

ment of the Parliament of Northern Ireland. 

2 . — (1) The Treasury may by order provide for imposing and 
recovering, in connection with any scheme of control contained in or 
authorised by Defence Regulations, such charges as may be specified 
in the order; and any such order may be varied or revoked by a 
subsequent order of the Treasury. 

(2) Any charges recovered by virtue of such an order as aforesaid 
shall be paid into the Exchequer of the United Kingdom or, if the 
order so directs, be paid into such public fund or account as may be 
specified in the order. 

(3) Any such order as aforesaid shall be laid before the Commons 

Ffouse of Parliament as soon as may be after it is made, but, notwith- 
standing anything in subsection (4) of section one of the Rules Publica- 
tion Act, 1893, shall be deemed not to be a statutory rule to which 
that section applies. t 

(4) Any such order as aforesaid imposing or increasing a charge shall 
cease to have effect on the expiration of the period of twenty-eight days 
beginning with the day on which the order is made, unless at some 
time before the expiration of that period it has been approved by a 
resolution of the Commons House of Parliament, without prejudice, 
however, to the validity of anything previously done under the order 
or to the making of a new order. 

In reckoning any period of twenty-eight days for the purposes of this 
subsection, no account shall be taken of any time during which Parlia- 
ment is dissolved or prorogued, or during which the Commons House 
is adjourned for more than four clays. 

(5) Without prejudice to the preceding provisions of this section, 
any Defence Regulations may provide — 

[a) for charging, in respect of the grant or issue of any licence, permit, 
certificate or other document for the purposes of the; Regulations, 
such fee not exceeding five pounds as may be prescribed under tb? 
Regulations with the approval of the Treasury; and 

( b ) for imposing and recovering such charges as may be so prescribed 
in respect of any services which, in pursuance of such Regulations, 
are provided on behalf of His Majesty, or under arrangements 
made on behalf of His Majesty, other than services necessary for the 
performance of duties imposed by law upon the Crown; 

and all sums received by way of such fees or charges as aforesaid shall 
be paid into the Exchequer of the United Kingdom or, if the Treasury 
so direct, be paid into such public fund or account as they may deter- 
mine. 



82 


Statutes 


3. — (i) Unless the contrary intention appears therefrom, any pro- 
visions contained in, or having effect under, any Defence Regulation 
shall— 

(a) in so far as they specifically impose prohibitions, restrictions or 
obligations in relation to ships, vessels or aircraft, or specifically 
authorise the doing of anything in relation to ships, vessels or air- 
craft, apply to all ships, vessels or aircraft in or over the United 
Kingdom and to all British ships or aircraft, not being Dominion 
ships or aircraft, wherever they may be; and 

(b) in so far as they impose prohibitions, restrictions or obligations on 
persons apply (subject to the preceding provisions of this subsec- 
tion) to all persons in the United Kingdom and all persons on 
board any British ship or aircraft, not being a Dominion ship or 
aircraft, and to all other persons being British subjects except 
persons in any of the following countries or territories, that is'to 
say,— 

(i) a Dominion, 

(ii) India, Burma and Southern Rhodesia, 

(iii) any country or territory to which any provisions of this Act 
can be extended by Order in Council, and 

(iv) any other country or territory, being a country or territory 

under His Majesty’s protection or suzerainty: r 

Provided that Defence Regulations may make provision whereby 
the owner, manager or charterer of any British ship or aircraft, being 
a person resident in thedJnited Kingdom or a corporation incorporated 
under the law of any part of the United Kingdom, is subjected to 
restrictions in respect of the employment of persons in any foreign 
country or territory in connection with the management of the ship 
or aircraft. 

(2) In this section the expression £ ‘Dominion ship or aircraft” means 
a British ship or aircraft registered in a Dominion, not being a ship or 
aircraft for the time being placed at the disposal of, or chartered by 
gr on behalf of, His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom; 
and, for the purposes of subsection (1) of this section, any ship or air- 
craft registered in India, Burma or Southern Rhodesia, not being a 
ship or aircraft for the time being placed at the disposal of, or chartered 
by or on behalf of. His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom, 
shall be treated as if it were a Dominion ship or aircraft. 

(3) Subsection (1) of this section shall apply in relation to British pro- 
tected persons, as that subsection applies in relation to British subjects. 

4 . — (x) His Majesty may by Order in Council direct that the pro- 
visions of this Act other than this section shall extend, with such 
exceptions, adaptations and modifications, if any, as may be specified 
in tfye Order, — 



83 


Emergency Powers (Defence) Act , zggg 

(a) to the Isle of Man or any of the Channel Islands, 

(b) to Newfoundland or any colony, 

• (c) to any British protectorate, 

(d) to any territory in respect of which a mandate on behalf of the 
League of Nations has been accepted by His Majesty, and is being 
exercised by His Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom, 
and 

(e) (to the extent of His Majesty’s jurisdiction therein) to any other 
country or territory being a foreign country or territory in which 
for the time being His Majesty has jurisdiction; 

and, in particular, but without prejudice to the generality of the pre- 
ceding provisions of this section, such an Order in Council may direct 
that any such authority as may be specified in the Order shall be sub- 
stituted for His Majesty in Council as the authority empowered to 
make Defence Regulations for the country or territory in respect of 
which the Order is made. 

(2) His Majesty may by Order in Council make, or authorise the 
making of, provision whereby persons offending against any Defence 
Regulations may be apprehended, tried and punished in the United 
Kingdom, or any of the countries or territories specified in the pre- 
ceding subsection, whether section one of this Act extends to that 
country or territory or not. 

5 . — (1) If and so far as the provisions of any Act for purposes of 
defence passed by the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia 
onby the Parliament of the Dominion of New Zealand purport to have 
extra-territorial operation as respects — 

(a) ships or aircraft registered in the said Commonwealth or Dominion, 
or 

(b) the employment of persons in relation to British ships or aircraft 
by owners, managers or charterers of such ships or aircraft who are 
persons resident in the said Commonwealth or Dominion or cor- 
porations incorporated under the law of the said Commonwealth 
or Dominion or any part thereof, 

the said provisions shall be deemed to have such operation. 

(2) No law made for purposes of defence by the Indian Legislature 
or the Federal Legislature of India or by the Legislature of Burma 
shall, on the ground that it would have extra-territorial operation, be 
deemed to be invalid in so far as it makes provision whereby any 
owner, manager or charterer of a British ship or aircraft ^who is a 
person resident in India or Burma or a corporation incorporated under 
the law of India or ihirma or any part thereof, is subjected to restric- 
tions in respect of the employment of persons in relation to the ship 
or aircraft. 



Statutes 


84 

Nothing in this subsection shall be taken to prejudice the effect of 
section ninety-nine of the Government of India Act, 1935, or section 
thirty-three of the Government of Burma Act, 1935. 

(3) If and so far as the provisions of any law for purposes of defence 
made by the Legislature of Southern Rhodesia purport to have extra- 
territorial operation as respects — 

(a) aircraft registered in Southern Rhodesia, or 

( b ) the employment of persons in relation to British aircraft by owners, 
managers or charterers of such aircraft who are persons resident in 
Southern Rhodesia or corporations incorporated under the law of 
Southern Rhodesia, 

the said provisions shall be deemed to have such operation. 

6 . — (1) If, as respects any proceedings before a court (whether 
instituted before or after the commencement of this Act), the court is 
satisfied that it is expedient, in the interests of the public safety or the 
defence of the realm so to do, the court — 

[a) may give directions that, throughout, or during any part of, the 
proceedings, such persons or classes of persons as the court may 
determine shall be excluded; 

( b ) may give directions prohibiting or restricting the disclosure of 
information with respect to the proceedings. 

The powers conferred by this subsection shall be in addition to, 
and not in derogation of, any other powers which a court may have 
to give such directions ns aforesaid. 

(2) If any person contravenes any directions given by a court under 
the preceding subsection, then, without prejudice to the law relating 
to contempt of court, he shall be liable, on summary conviction, to 
imprisonment for a term not exceeding three months or to a fine not 
exceeding one hundred pounds or to both such imprisonment and such 
fine, or, on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not 
exceeding two years or to a fine not exceeding five hundred pounds or 
to both such imprisonment and such fine. 

(3) The operation of subsection (4) of section eight of the Official 
Secrets Act, 1920, shall be suspended during the continuance in force 
of this Act. 

7 ♦ Every document purporting to be an instrument made or issued 
by any Minister or other authority or person in pursuance of any pro- 
vision contained in, or having effect under, Defence Regulations, and 
to be signed by or on behalf of the said Minister, authority or person, 
shall be received in evidence, and shall, until the contrary is proved, 
b$. deemed to be an instrument made or issued by that Minister, 
authority or person; and prima facie evidence of any such instrument 
as aforesaid may, in any legal pijpceedingy (including arbitrations), be 



Emergency Powers {Defence) Act , iggg 85 

given by the production of a document purporting to be certified to 
be a true copy of the instrument by, or on behalf of, the Minister or 
other authority or person having power to make or issue the instrument. 

8— (1) Every Order in Council containing Defence Regulations 
shall be laid before Parliament as soon as may be after it is made; but 
notwithstanding anything in subsection (4) of section one of the Rules 
Publication Act, 1893, such an Order shall be deemed not to be a 
statutory rule to which that section applies. 

(2) If either House of Parliament, within the next twenty-eight days 
on which that House has sat after such an Order in Council as afore- 
said is laid before it, resolves that the Order be annulled, the Order 
shall thereupon cease to have effect except as respects things previously 
done or omitted to be done, without prejudice, however, to the making 
of a new Order. 

43 ) An Y power conferred by the preceding provisions of this Act to 
make an Order in Council shall be construed as including a power to 
vary or revoke the Order. 

9 . The powers conferred by or under this Act shall be in addition to, 
and not in derogation of, the powers exercisable by virtue of the 
prerogative of the Crown. 

10. — (1) In this Act the expression “Dominion” means any Dom- 
inion within the meaning of the Statute of Westminster, 1931, except 
Newfoundland, and includes any territory administered by His 
Majesty’s Government in such a Dominion. 

(2) References in this Act to British aircraft shall be construed as 
references to aircraft registered in any part of His Majesty’s dominions, 
in any British protectorate or in any territory in respect of which a 
mandate on behalf of the League of Nations has been accepted by His 
Majesty and is being exercised by the Government of any part of His 
Majesty’s dominions. 

(3) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that any refer- 
ence in this Act to Defence Regulations includes a reference to regula- 
tions made under any provision of this Act, as extended to any country 
or territory by an Order in Council under this Act, and that any 
reference in this Act to any country or territory includes a reference tcT 
the territorial waters, if any, adjacent to that country or territory. 

11 . — (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, this Act shall con- 
tinue in force for the period of one year beginning with the date of the 
passing of this Act, and shall then expire : 

Provided that, if at any time while this Act is in force, an address 
is presented to His Majesty by each House of Parliament praying that 
this Act should be continued in force for a further period of one year 
from the time at whfch it would otherwise expire, His Majesty may ^y 
Order in Council direct that this Act shall continue in force for that 
further period. 



86 


Statutes 


(2) Notwithstanding anything in the preceding subsection, if His 
Majesty by Order in Council declares that the emergency that was the 
occasion of the passing of this Act has come to an end, this Act shall* 
expire at the end of the day on which the Order is expressed to come 
into operation. 

(3) The expiry of this Act shall not affect the operation thereof as 
respects things previously done or omitted to be done. 

12. This Act may be cited as the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 

1 939 - 


OFFICIAL SECRETS ACT, 1939 
2 and 3 Geo. 6, c. 121 

1. For section six of the Official Secrets Act, 1920, there shall^be 
substituted the following section: 

“ 6 . — (1) Where a chief officer rof police is satisfied that there is reason- 
able ground for suspecting that an offence under section one of 
the principal Act has been committed and for believing that any 
person is able to furnish information as to the offence or suspected 
offence, he may apply to a Secretary of State for # permission to 
exercise the powers conferred by this subsection and, if such per- 
mission is granted, he may authorise a superintendent of police, or 
any police officer not below the rank of inspector, to require the 
person believed ter be able tef furnish information to give any in- 
formation in his power relating to the offence or suspected offence, 
and, if so required and on tender of his reasonable expenses, to 
attend at such reasonable time and place as may be specified by 
the superintendent or other officer; and if a person required in pur- 
suance of such an authorisation to give information, or to attend as 
aforesaid, fails to comply with any such requirement or knowingly 
gives false information, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour. 

J2) Where a chief officer of police has reasonable grounds to believe 
that the case is one of great emergency and that in the interest of 
the State immediate action is necessary, he may exercise the 
powers conferred by the last foregoing subsection without applying 
for or being granted the permission of a Secretary of State, but 
if he does so shall forthwith report the circumstances to the 
Secretary of State. 

(3) References in this section to a chief officer of police shall be con- 
strued as including references to any other officer of police 
• expressly authorised by a chief officer of police to act on his behalf 
for the purposes of this section when by reason of illness, absence, 
^or other cause he is unable to do so.’* 



Emergency Powers (Defence) Act , ig^o 


87 


EMERGENCY POWERS (DEFENCE) ACT, 1940 
3 and 4 Geo. 6, c. 20 

Whereas by the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939, His 
Majesty was enabled to exercise certain powers for the purpose of 
meeting the emergency existing at the date of the passing of that Act: 

And whereas by reason of the development of hostilities since that 
date it has become necessary to extend the said powers in order to 
secure that the whole resources of the community may be rendered 
immediately available when required for purposes connected with the 
defence of the Realm: 

Now therefore be it enacted . . . : — 

4 . — (1) The powers conferred on His Majesty by the Emergency 
Powers (Defence) Act, 1939, (hereinafter referred to as the “principal 
Act 55 ) shall, notwithstanding anything in that Act, include power by 
Order in Council to make such Defence Regulations making provision 
for requiring persons to place themselves, their services, and their pro- 
perty at the disposal of His Majesty, as appear to him to be necessary 
or expedient for securing the public safety, the defence of the Realm, 
the maintenance of public order, or the efficient prosecution of any 
war in which His Majesty may be engaged, or for maintaining supplies 
or services essential to the life of the community. 

(2) In paragraph ( d ) of subsection (2) of section one of the principal 
Act and in subsection (4) of that section the expression “enactment 55 
shall mean any enactment passed before the commencement of this 
Act. 

(3) Subsection (1) of section eleven of the principal Act (which 
relates to the duration of that Act) shall have effect as if for the words 
“one year 55 , where those words first occur, there were substituted the 
words “two years. 55 

[§ 2 (Short title and citation) omitted.] 


EDUCATION ACT, 1944 
6 and 7 Geo* 6, c. 31 

1 . — (1) It shall be lawful for His Majesty to appoint a^Minister 
(hereinafter referred to as “the Minister 55 ), whose duty it shall be to 
promote the education of the people of England and Wales and tl^e 
progressive development of institutions devoted to that purpose, and 
to secure the effective execution by local authorities, under his control 



Statutes 


and direction, of the national policy for providing a varied and com- 
prehensive educational sendee in every area. 

( 2 ) The Minister shall for all purposes be a corporation sole under- 
the name of the Minister of Education, and the department of which 
he is in charge shall be known as the Ministry of Education. . . . 

4. — ( 1 ) There shall be two Central Advisory Councils for Education, 
one for England and the other for Wales and Monmouthshire, and it 
shall be the duty of those Councils to advise the Minister upon such 
matters connected with educational theory and practice as they think 
fit, and upon any questions referred to them by him. 

( 2 ) The members of each Council shall be appointed by the Minister, 
and the Minister shall appoint a member of each Council to be Chair- 
man thereof and shall appoint an officer of the Ministry of Education 
to be secretary thereto. . . . 

5. The Minister shall make to Parliament an annual report giving 
an account of the exercise and performance of the powers and duties 
conferred and imposed upon him by this Act and of the composition 
and proceedings of the Central Advisory Councils for Education. 

6. — ( 1 ) Subject to the provisions of Part I of the First Schedule to 
this Act,i the local education authority for each county shall be the 
council of the county, and the local education authority for each 
county borough shall be the council of the county borough. 

( 2 ) The local administration of the statutory system of public educa- 
tion shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of Parts II 2 
and III 3 of the said Schedule. . . . 

68. If the Minister is satisfied, 'either on complaint by any person 
or otherwise, that any local education authority or the managers or 
governors of any county or voluntary school have acted or are pro- 
posing to act unreasonably with respect to the exercise of any power 
conferred or the performance of any duty imposed by or under this 
Act, he may, notwithstanding any enactment rendering the exercise 
of the power or the performance of the duty contingent upon the 
opinion of the authority or of the managers or governors, give such 
directions as to the exercise of the power or the performance of the 
duty as appear to him to be expedient. . . . 

99. — ( 1 ) If the Minister is satisfied, either upon complaint by any 
person interested or otherwise, that any local education authority, or 
the managers or governors of any county school or voluntary school, 
have failed to discharge any duty imposed upon them by or for the 

1 The Minister may appoint joint boards as the local education authority for two 
or more cc^mcils. 

2 Local education authorities are to establish education committees, in accordance 

vrith arrangements approved by the Minister. * 

3 Local education authorities (except those which are the councils of county 
boroughs) may make “schemes of divisional administration’ ’ and delegate functions 
to divisional executives. 



Education Act> 1944 89 

purposes of this Act, the Minister may make an order declaring the 
authority, or the managers or governors, as the case may be, to be in 
default in respect of that duty, and giving such directions for the pur- 
pose of enforcing the execution thereof as appear to the Minister 
to be expedient; and any such directions shall be enforceable, on an 
application made on behalf of the Minister, by mandamus. . . . 

100 . — (1) The Minister shall by regulations make provision: 

(a) for the payment by him to local education authorities of annual 
grants in respect of the expenditure incurred by such authorities in the 
exercise of any of their functions relating to education, other than their 
functions relating to the medical inspection and treatment of pupils. . . . 

(2) The Minister of Health shall by regulations make provision for 
the payment by him to local education authorities of annual grants in 
aid of the expenditure incurred by such authorities in the exercise of 
thsir functions relating to the medical inspection and treatment of 
pupils. ... 

(3) Any regulations made by the Minister or the Minister of Health 
under this section may make provision* whereby the making of pay- 
ments by him in pursuance thereof is dependent upon the fulfilment 
of such conditions as may be determined by or in accordance with the 
regulations, and may also make provision for requiring local education 
authorities an$l other persons to whom payments have been made in 
pursuance thereof to comply with such requirements as may be so 
determined. . . . 

[§§ 1 01-122 and nine schedules omitted.] 


SUPPLIES AND SERVICES (TRANSITIONAL POWERS) ACT, 

1945 

9 Geo. 6, c. 10 

1 .— (1) If it appears to His Majesty to be necessary or expedient tha*^ 
any Defence Regulation to which this section applies should have 
effect" for the purpose of so maintaining controlling and regulating 
supplies and services as — 

(<2) to secure a sufficiency of those essential to the wellbeing of the 
community or their equitable distribution or their availability at 

fair prices; or * 

(b) to facilitate the demobilisation and resettlement of persons and to 

secure the orderfy disposal of surplus material ; or ^ 

(c) to facilitate the readjustment of industry and commerce to the 
requirements of the community iy time of peace ; or 



Statutes 


9 ° 

( d ) to assist the relief of suffering and the restoration and distribution 
of essential supplies and services in any part of His Majesty’s 
dominions or in foreign countries that are in grave distress as the 
result of war; 

he may by Order in Council direct that the Regulation shall have 
effect by virtue of this Act whether or not it is for the time being neces- 
sary or expedient for the purposes specified in subsection ( 1 ) of section 
one of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939. 

(2) An Order in Council made under this section with respect to 
any Defence Regulation shall provide for the making in the Regula- 
tion of such adaptations, if any, as appear to His Majesty to be neces- 
sary or expedient for rendering it applicable for the purposes aforesaid. 

(3) Where an Order in Council is made under this section with 
respect to any Defence Regulation, all orders and other instruma*its 
made under the Regulation and in force at the date when the Order 
in Council comes into operation shall continue in force and shall, save 
as is otherwise expressly provided in the Order in Council, have effect 
as if they had been made under the Regulation as extended by the 
Order in Council and as if any references in those orders and instru- 
ments to any of the purposes specified in subsection (1) of section one 
of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939, include^ references to 
the purposes specified in subsection (1) of this section. 

(4) This section applies to any Defence Regulation contained in 
Part III or Part IV of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, at the 
date of the passing of this Act and r to any Defence Regulation specified 
in the second column of the First Schedule to this Act, and references 
in any Order in Council made under this section to any such Regula- 
tion shall be construed as references to that Regulation as in force at 
the date on which the Order comes into operation. 

2 . — (1) The powers conferred on His Majesty by the principal Acts 
to make such Defence Regulations as appear to him to be necessary or 
expedient for the purposes specified in subsection (1) of section one of 
^the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939, shall include power by 
Order in Council to make such Defence Regulations as appear to him 
to be necessary or expedient for controlling the prices to be charged 
for goods of any description or the charges to be made for services of 
any description, whether or not such Regulations are necessary or 
expedient for the purposes specified in the said subsection (1). 

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of the power conferred by 
the last fpregoing subsection, any Defence Regulation made in pursu- 
ance thereof may amend the Goods and Services (Price Control) Acts, 

*£39 t0 * 943 * * 

(3) Any Defence Regulation expressed to be made in pursuance of 
the said power shall have effect <hy virtue" of this Act. 



Supplies and Services Act , 1945 91 

3 . — (1) His Majesty, by Order in Council made under this Act, may 

revoke in whole or in part any Defence Regulation which has effect 
by virtue of this Act or may vary any such Regulation in such manner 
as appears to him — # 

(a) in the case of a Regulation to which section one of this Act applies, 
to be necessary or expedient for any of the purposes specified in 
subsection (1) of that section or, while the principal Acts continue 
in force, for any of the purposes specified in subsection (1) of 
section one of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939, or 
(£) in the case of a Regulation made in pursuance of the power con- 
ferred by the last foregoing section, to be necessary or expedient for 
the additional purpose specified in subsection (1) of that section. 

(2) Subsection (3) of section eight of the Emergency Powers (De- 
fence) Act, 1939 (which relates to the power to revoke or vary Orders 
in Council made under that Act) shall not apply to any Defence 
Regulation which has effect by virtue of this Act. 

4 . — (x) Every Order in Council made under the principal Acts (or 
under those Acts as extended by section two of this Act) which contains 
Defence Regulations, every order or other instrument made under 
powers conferred by Defence Regulations which is determined in 
accordance with regulations made under section three of the Rules 
Publication A?t, 1 893, to be a statutory rule within the meaning of the 
said section and to be of the nature of a public Act or which is or is 
deemed to be a statutory rule to which the Rules Publication Act 
(Northern Ireland), 1925, applies (bpingan Orjjer in Council order or 
instrument made after the passing of this Act), and every Order in 
Council made under this Act, shall be laid before Parliament as soon 
as may be after it is made; and if either House oi Parliament, within 
the period of forty days beginning with the day on which any such 
Order in Council, order or instrument is laid before it, resolves that it 
be annulled, it shall cease to have effect, but without prejudice to 
anything previously done thereunder or to the making of any new 
Order in Council, order or other instrument. 

In reckoning any period for the purposes of this subsection no' 
account shall be taken of any time during which Parliament is dissolved 
or prorogued or during which both Houses are adjourned for more 
than four days. 

(2) Section one of the Rules Publication Act, 1893? shall not apply 
to any such Order in Council, order or other instrument as afoiesaid. 

(3) Subsections (1) and (2) of section eight of the Emergency 
Powers (Defence) Act, 1939, are hereby repealed. 

5. — (j) Save as is otherwise expressly provided in the last two fore- 
going sections of this Act, nothing in this Act shall be construed as 
restricting the operation of the principal Acts while those Acts remain 



Statutes 


92 

in force, or as affecting their application to Defence Regulations having 
effect by virtue of this Act, and any reference in those Acts to the pur- 
poses for which Defence Regulations may be made shall, in their 
application to Defence Regulations having effect by virtue of this Act, 
be construed as including a reference to the purposes specified in 
section one or, as the case may be, section two of this Act. 

(2) If the principal Acts expire while this Act is in force — 

(a) the provisions of those Acts, except the provisions specified in the 
Second Schedule to this Act, shall, notwithstanding their expiry 
for all other purposes, continue to apply (so far as applicable) 
while this Act is in force to any Defence Regulation having effect 
by virtue of this Act, any order or other instrument made under 
any such Regulation and any scheme of control contained in or 
authorised by any such Regulation; and 

(b) any such Regulation and any order or other instrument niade 
under any such Regulation shall have effect, as from the date of 
the expiry of the said Acts, as if references therein to any of the 
purposes specified in subsection (1) of section one of the Emer- 
gency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939, were omitted therefrom. 

(3) Any enactment other than the principal Acts referring to Defence 
Regulations or to powers conferred under the Emergency Powers 
(Defence) Act, 1939, shall be construed as including a reference to 
Defence Regulations having effect by virtue of this Act or, as the case 
may be, to powers conferred thereby. 

(4) Section four of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939 
(which provides for the application of that Act to colonies and other 
territories) shall have effect as if the reference to the provisions of that 
Act included a reference to the foregoing provisions of this Act, and 
as if the reference to the authority empowered to make Defence 
Regulations included a reference to the authority empowered to 
exercise the powers of His Majesty in Council under the foregoing 
provisions of this Act; and the said section shall, if the principal Acts 
expire while this Act is in force, continue in force, notwithstanding 

'"such expiry, so far as it provides for the extension of the foregoing 
provisions of this Act to any country or territory mentioned in the 
said section. 

(5) The provisions of Parts II, V and VI of the Requisitioned Land 
and War Works Act, 1945 (which confer temporary powers to acquire 
and retain possession of land used for war purposes and to maintain, 
use and remove war works) shall, subject as hereinafter provided, have 
effect as if the expression <e war period” included any period after 
the expiry of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Art, 1939, during which 
this Act is in force and as if the expression “war purposes” included the 
purposes specified in subsection„(i) of section one of this Act, and any 



Supplies and Services Act , 1945 93 

other provisions of the said Requisitioned Land and War Works Act, 
1945 (except section forty-five thereof), shall, so far as they relate to 
the provisions aforesaid, have the like effect; 

Provided that no powers shall be exercisable by virtue of this sub- 
section unless the appropriate Minister has certified — 

(a) in a case where the powers arise in consequence of the doing of 
work on land, that the work was done after the date of the expiry 
of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939, for the purposes 
specified in subsection (1) of section one of this Act, or that works 
constructed in the course of the work have been used after the said 
date for the purposes aforesaid; or 

( b ) in a case where the powers arise in consequence of the possession 
or use of land or damage caused by the use of land, that the land 
has been used after the said date for the purposes aforesaid; 

and has served a copy of the certificate, either by delivery or by pre- 
paid registered letter on any person to whom compensation under 
paragraph (a) of subsection (1) of section two or subsection (2) of 
section three of the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, is in course 
of payment in respect of the land to which the certificate relates. . . . 

6 . — (1) For the purposes of the Ministry of Supply Act, 1939 (which 
confers powerg on the Minister to acquire, produce or dispose of articles 
required for the public service and to exercise certain other powers in 
relation to such articles) the expression “articles required for the public 
service 5 ’ shall include any supplies which the Minister of Supply is 
satisfied that it is necessary or expedient to maintain, control or regulate 
for any of the purposes specified in subsection (1) of section one of this 
Act, and the expression “works required for the public ser.ice 55 shall 
be construed accordingly. 

(2) Notwithstanding anything in proviso (i) to subsection (1) of 
section two of the Ministry of Supply Act, 1939, the powers of the 
Minister of Supply under that subsection may, so long as this Act 
continues in force, be exercised in relation to the supply to any other 
government department of any articles required by that department* 
for the purpose of the discharge of its functions, whether or not the 
powers of that department in relation to the supply of those articles 
are for the time being transferred to or made exercisable by the Minister 
under section three of the Ministry of Supply Act, 1939. 

(3) Notwithstanding anything in proviso (ii) to the said subsection 
(1) of section two, the powers of the said Minister under that subsection 
of manufacturing or otherwise producing articles may continue to be 
exercised so long as this Act continues in force in respect of any articles 
whatsover required for the public service within the meaning of the 
Ministry of Supply Act, 1939, as amended by this Act. 

(4) Notwithstanding anything in section fourteen of the Ministry of 



Statutes 


94 

Supply Act, 1939, the provisions of sections seven to thirteen thereof 
shall continue in force so long as this Act continues in force. 

7. There shall be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament 
any expenses incurred by any Minister of the Grown in consequence 
of the passing of this Act, and any increase attributable to the passing 
of this Act in any sums authorised or required by any other enactment 
to be paid out of moneys provided by Parliament. 

8. — (1) Subject as hereinafter provided this Act shall continue in force 
for the period of five years after the passing thereof and shall then expire : 

Provided that, if at any time while this Act is in force, an Address 
is presented to His Majesty by each House of Parliament praying that 
this Act should be continued in force for a further period of one year 
from the time at which it would otherwise expire, His Majesty may by 
Order in Council direct that this Act shall continue in force for that 
further period. m 

(2) Subsection (2) of section thirty-eight of the Interpretation Act, 
1889, shall apply upon the expiry of this Act as if this Act had then 
been repealed. ? 

9. Nothing in this Act shall restrict the powers of the Parliament of 
Northern Ireland to make laws with respect to any matter with respect 
to which that Parliament has power to make laws, and any laws made 
by that Parliament with respect to any such matters shall have effect 
notwithstanding anything in any Defence Regulation having effect 
by virtue of this Act and applicable to Northern Ireland, or in any 
order or other instrument made under such a Regulation. 

10. — (1) This Act m?:y be cited as the Supplies and Services (Transi- 
tional Powers) Act, 1945. 

(2) In this Act the expression “Defence Regulation” means a Regu- 
lation made under the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939, or 
under that Act as extended by any subsequent enactment (including 
this Act), and the expression “the principal Acts” means the Emer- 
gency Powers (Defence) Acts, 1939 to 1945. 

[Two schedules omitted.] 


MINISTERS OF THE CROWN (TRANSFER OF FUNCTIONS) 

ACT, 1946 
9 and 10 Geo. 6, c. 31 

General Power to redistribute Functions of Ministers 

r 1. — (1) His Majesty may by Order in Council provide for the trans- 
fer to any Minister of the Crown of any functions theretofore exercisable 
by another Minister of the Crown. 



Ministers of the Crown Act , 1946 95 

(2) His Majesty may by Order in Council provide for the dissolution 
of the Government Department in the charge of any Minister of the 
Crown and the transfer to or distribution among such other Minister 
or Ministers of the Crown as may be specified in the Order of any 
functions theretofore exercisable by the Minister in charge of that 
Department. 

(3) An Order in Council under this section may contain such inci- 
dental, consequential and supplemental provisions as may be neces- 
sary or expedient for the purpose of giving full effect to the Order, 
including provisions — 

{a) for the transfer of any property, rights and liabilities held, enjoyed 
or incurred by any Minister of the Crown in connection with any 
functions transferred or distributed; 

( b ) for the carrying on and completion by or under the authority of 
~*the Minister to whom any functions are transferred of anything 
commenced by or under the authority of a Minister of the Crown 
before the date when the Order takes effect; 

(i c ) for such adaptations of the enactments relating to any functions 
transferred as may be necessary to enable them to be exercised by 
the Minister to whom they are transferred and his officers ; 

(d) for making in the enactments regulating the number of offices in 
respect of* which salaries may be paid cr the number of office 
holders who may be elected, and sit and vote, as members of the 
House of Commons such modifications as may be expedient by 

# reason of any transfer of functions or dissolution of a Department 
effected by the Order, so, however, that such modifications shall 
not increase the amount of any salary which may be paid or the 
aggregate number of persons ro whom such salaries may be paid 
under such enactments or the aggregate number of persons capable 
thereunder of being elected, and cf sitting and voting, as aforesaid; 

(e) for the substitution of the Minister to whom functions are trans- 
ferred for any other Minister of the Crown in any instrument, con- 
tract, or legal proceedings made or commenced before the date 
when the Order takes effect. 

(4) Where by any Order made under this section provision is made 
for the transfer of functions in respect of which any Minister may sue 
or be sued by virtue of any enactment, the Order shall make any pro- 
vision which may be required for enabling the Minister to whom those 
functions are transferred to sue or be sued in like manner. 

(5) A certificate issued by a Minister of the Crown that any property 
vested in any other Minister immediately before an Order under this 
section takes effect his been transferred by virtue of the Order to the 
Minister issuing the certificate shall be conclusive evidence of the 
transfer. 



Statutes 


96 

2 . If His Majesty is pleased by Order in Council to direct that any 
change shall be made in the style and title of a Minister of the Crown, 
the Order may contain provisions substituting the new style and title — 

( a ) in the enactments (including such enactments as are mentioned in 

paragraph (d) of subsection (3) of the last foregoing section) 

relating to the Minister; 

( b ) in any instrument, contract, or legal proceedings made or com- 
menced before the date when the Order takes effect. 

3 . — (1) No Order in Council which provides for the dissolution of a 
Government Department shall be made under this Act unless, after 
copies of the draft thereof have been laid before Parliament, each House 
presents an Address to His Majesty praying that the Order be made. 

(2) An Order in Council under this Act, not being an Order made 
in pursuance of such an Address as aforesaid, shall not come into 
operation until copies thereof have been laid before Parliament, and 
if either House, within the period of forty days beginning with the day 
on which a copy thereof is laid before it, resolves that an Address be 
presented to His Majesty praying that the Order in Council be 
annulled, no further proceedings shall be taken thereunder after the 
date of the resolution, and His Majesty may by Order in Council 
revoke the Order, so, however, that any such resolution and revocation 
shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done 
thereunder or to the making of a new Order. 

In reckoning any such period of forty days, no account shall be taken 
of any time during \yhich Parliament is dissolved or prorogued, or 
during which both Houses are adjourned for more than four days. 

(3) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (4) of section one of the 
Rules Publication Act, 1893, an Order under this Act shall be deemed 
not to be, or to contain, statutory rules to which that section applies. 

(4) Any Order under this Act may be varied or revoked by a subse- 
quent Order thereunder made in the like manner and subject to the 
like conditions, so however that the variation or revocation of an 
Order providing for the dissolution of a Government Department shall 

* not affect the dissolution thereof. 

(5) No provision in any Act passed before the commencement of this 
Act shall be construed as limiting the powers conferred by this Act. 

(6) Nothing in this Act shall prejudice any power exercisable by 
virtue of the prerogative of the Grown in relation to the functions of 
Ministers of the Crown. 

(7) Any reference in the foregoing provisions of this Act to a Minister 
of the drown shall include a reference to Ministers acting jointly. 

[§§ 4~7> and the First Schedule, provide for the continuance of the office and 
functions of the Ministers of Food, Labour and National Service, and Trans- 
portj and the Secretary of the Department of Overseas Trade.] 



Statutory Instruments Act , 1946 


97 


STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS ACT, 1946 
9 and 10 Geo. 6, c. 36 

An Act to repeal the Rules Publication Act, i8g 5, and to make further provision 
as to the instruments by which statutory powers to make orders, rules , regulations 
and other subordinate legislation are exercised . 

[26th March 1946.1 

1 . — (1) Where by this Act or any Act passed after the commence- 
ment of this Act power to make, confirm or approve orders, rules, 
regulations or other subordinate legislation is conferred on His Majesty 
in Council or on any Minister of the Crown then, if the power is 
expressed — 

(a] * in the case of a power conferred on His Majesty, to be exercisable 

by Order in Council; 

(b) in the case of a power conferred on a Minister of the Crown, to 
be exercisable by statutory instrument, 

any document by which that power is exercised shall be known as a 
“statutory instrument” and the provisions of this Act shall apply 
thereto accordingly. 

(2) Where by any Act passed before the commencement of this Act 
power to make statutory rules within the meaning of die Rules Publi- 
cation Act, 1893, was conferred on any rule-making authority within 
the meaning of that Act, any document h\* which that power is 
exercised after the commencement of this Act shall, save as is otherwise 
provided by regulations made under this Act, be known as a “statu- 
tory instrument” and the provisions of this Act shall apply thereto 
accordingly. 

2. — (1) Immediately after the making of any statu tory instrument, 
it shall be sent to the King's printer of Acts of Parliament and num- 
bered in accordance with regulations made under this Act, and 
except in such cases as may be provided by any Act passed after the**, 
commencement of this Act or prescribed by regulations made under 
this Act, copies thereof shall as soon as possible be printed and sold 
by the King's printer of Acts of Parliament. 

(2) Any statutory instrument may, without prejudice to any other 
mode of citation, be cited by the number given to it in accordance 
with the provisions of this section, and the calendar year. 

[§ 3. Supplementary provisions as to publication.] 

4. — (1) Where by^this Act or any Act passed after the commence- 
ment of this Act any statutory instrument is required to be laid before 
Parliament after being made, a copy of the instrument shall belaid 



Statutes 


98 

before each House of Parliament and, subject as hereinafter provided, 
shall be so laid before the instrument comes into operation : 

Provided that if it is essential that any such instrument should 
come into operation before copies thereof can be so laid as aforesaid, 
the instrument may be made so as to come into operation before it has 
been so laid; and where any statutory instrument comes into operation 
before it is laid before Parliament, notification shall forthwith be sent 
to the Lord Chancellor and to the Speaker of the House of Commons 
drawing attention to the fact that copies of the instrument have yet to 
be laid before Parliament and explaining why such copies were not so 
laid before the instrument came into operation. 

(2) Every copy of any such statutory instrument sold by the King’s 
printer of Acts of Parliament shall bear on the face thereof — 

(a) a statement showing the date on which the statutory instrument 
came or will come into operation; and 

( b ) either a statement showing the date on which copies thereof were 
laid before Parliament or a statement that such copies are to be 
laid before Parliament. 

(3) Where any Act passed before the date of the commencement of 
this Act contains provisions requiring that any Order in Council or 
other document made in exercise of any power confer^d by that or 
any other Act be laid before Parliament after being made, any statu- 
tory instrument made in exercise of that power shall by virtue of this 
Act be laid before Parliament and the foregoing provisions of this 
section shall apply thGreto accordingly in substitution for any siich 
provisions as aforesaid contained in the Act passed before the said 
date. 

5 . — (1) Where by this Act or any Act passed after the commence- 
ment of this Act, it is provided that any statutory instrument shall be 
subject to annulment in pursuance of resolution of either House of 
Parliament, the instrument shall be laid before Parliament after being 
made and the provisions of the last foregoing section shall apply thereto 
^accordingly, and if either House, within the period of forty days 
beginning with the day on which a copy thereof is laid before it, 
resolves that an Address be presented to His Majesty praying that the 
instrument be annulled, no further proceedings shall be taken there- 
under after the date of the resolution, and His Majesty may by Order 
in Council revoke the instrument, so however, that any such resolution 
and revocation shall be without prejudice to the validity of anything 
previously done under the instrument or to the making of a new 
statutory instrument. 

+ (2) Where any Act passed before the date of t?ie commencement of 
this Act contains provisions requiring that any Order in Council or 
othej document made in exercise of any power conferred by that or 



Statutory Instruments Act, ig ^6 99 

any other Act shall be laid before Parliament after being made and 
shall cease to be in force or may be annulled, as the case may be, if 
within a specified period either House presents an address to His 
Majesty or passes a resolution to that effect, then, subject to the pro- 
visions of any Order in Council made under this Act, any statutory 
instrument made in exercise of the said power shall by virtue of this 
Act be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either 
House of Parliament and the provisions of the last foregoing subsection 
shall apply thereto accordingly in substitution for any such provisions 
as aforesaid contained in the Act passed before the said date. 

6 . — (1) Where by this Act or any Act passed after the commencement 
of this Act it is provided that a draft of any statutory instrument shall 
be laid before Parliament, but the Act does not prohibit the making of 
the instrument without the approval of Parliament, then, in the case 
of^n Order in Council the draft shall not be submitted to His Majesty 
in Council, and in any other case the statutory instrument shall not be 
made, until after the expiration of a period of forty days beginning 
with the day on which a copy of the draft is laid before each House of 
Parliament, or, if such copies are laid on different days, with the later 
of the two days, and if within that period either House resolves that 
the draft be not submitted to His Majesty or that the statutory instru- 
ment be not ^nade, as the case may be, no further proceedings shall 
be taken thereon, but without prejudice to the laying before Parliament 
of a new draft. 

• (2) Where any Act passed before the date of the commencement of 

this Act contains provisions requiting that atdrafi of any Order in 
Council or other document to be made in exercise c f any power con- 
ferred by that or any other Act shall he laid before Parliament before 
being submitted to His Majesty, or before being made, as the case 
may be, and that it shall not be so submitted or made if within a 
specified period either House presents an address to His Majesty or 
passes a resolution to that effect, then, subject to the provisions of any 
Order in Council made under this Act, a draft of any statutory instru- 
ment made in exercise of the said power shall by virtue of this Act be 
laid before Parliament and the provisions of the last foregoing sub- 
section shall apply thereto accordingly in substitution for any such 
provisions as aforesaid contained in the Act passed before the said date. 

7 . — (1) In reckoning for the purposes of either of the last two fore- 
going sections any period of forty days, no account shall be taken of 
any time during which Parliament is dissolved or prorogued or during 
which both Houses are adjourned for more than four days. % 

(2) In relation to any instrument required by any Act, whether 
passed before or afte^j the commencement of this Act, to be laid before 
the House of Commons only, the provisions of the last three foregoing 

sections shall have effect as if references to that House were therein 

* 



x oo Statutes 

substituted for references to Parliament and for references to either 
House and each House thereof. 

(3) The provisions of sections four and five of this Act shall not 
apply to any statutory instrument being an order which is subject to 
special Parliamentary procedure, or to any other instrument which is 
required to be laid before Parliament, or before the House of Commons, 
for any period before it comes into operation. 

8 . — (x) The Treasury may, with the concurrence of the Lord 
Chancellor and the Speaker of the House of Commons, by statutory 
instrument make regulations for the purposes of this Act, and such 
regulations may, in particular: — 

(a) provide for the different treatment of instruments which are of 
the nature of a public Act, and of those which are of the nature of 
a local and personal or private Act ; 

(b) make provision as to the numbering, printing, and publicatiorf of 
statutory instruments including provision for postponing the num- 
bering of any such instrument which does not take effect until it 
has been approved by Parliament, or by the Plouse of Commons, 
until the instrument has been so approved; 

(c) provide with respect to any classes or descriptions of statutory 
instrument that they shall be exempt, either altogether or to such 
extent as may be determined by or under the regulations, from the 
requirement of being printed and of being sold by the King’s 
printer of Acts of Parliament, or from either of those requirements ; 

(d) determine the classes of cases in which the exercise of a statutory 
instrument by any e rule-making authority constitutes or does not 
constitute the making of such a statutory rule as is referred to 
in subsection (2) of section one of this Act, and provide for the 
exclusion from that subsection of any such classes; 

(e) provide for the determination by a person or persons nominated 
by the Lord Chancellor and the Speaker of the House of Commons 
of any question — 

(i) as to the numbering, printing, or publication of any statutory 
instrument or class or description of such instruments : 

(ii) whether or to what extent any statutory instrument or class 
or description of such instruments is, under the regulations, exempt 
from any such requirement as is mentioned in paragraph (c) of this 
subsection : 

(iii) whether any statutory instrument or class or description of 
such instruments is in the nature of a public Act or of a local and 
personal or private Act: 

r (iv) whether the exercise of any power confe^ed by an Act passed 
before the commencement of this Act is or is not the exercise of a 
power to make a statutory ru ip. 



IOI 


Statutory Instruments Act , ig^.6 

(2) Every statutory instrument made under this section shall be subject 
to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament, 

9 . — (1) If with respect to any power to confirm or approve orders, 
rules, regulations or other subordinate legislation conferred on a 
Minister of the Crown by any Act passed before the commencement 
of this Act, it appears to His Majesty in Council that, notwithstanding 
that the exercise of that power did not constitute the making of a 
statutory rule within the meaning of the Rules Publication Act, 1893, 
it is expedient that the provisions of this Act should apply to documents 
by which that power is exercised, His Majesty may by Order in Council 
direct that any document by which that power is exercised after such 
date as may be specified in the Order shall be known as a “statutory in- 
strument 55 and the provisions of this Act shall apply thereto accordingly. 

(2) If with respect to any Act passed before the commencement of 
thi^Act it appears to His Majesty in Council that by reason of the 
exceptional nature of any provisions of that Act the application of 
subsection (2) of section five or subsection (2) of section six of this Act 
to statutory instruments made under, any provisions of that Act 
would be inexpedient, His Majesty may by Order in Council direct 
that those subsections shall not apply to statutory instruments made 
under those provisions, or shall apply thereto subject to such modifica- 
tions as may be specified in the Order. 

(3) A draft of any Order in Council proposed to be made under 
this section shall be laid before Parliament. 

10 . — (1) This Act shall come into operation on such date as His 
Majesty may by Order in Council appoint: « 

Provided that, without prejudice to the pro\isions of section thirty- 
seven of the Interpretation Act. 1889. the last foregoing section and, 
in relation to any Order in Council made thereunder, the provisions 
of sections six and seven of this Act shall come into operation on the 
passing of this Act. 

(2) The Order in Council made under this section shall be laid 
before Parliament after being made. 

11 . — (1) For the purposes of this Act, any power to make, confirm 
or approve orders, rules, regulations or other subordinate legislation 
conferred on the Treasury, the Admiralty, the Board of Trade or 
any other government department shall be deemed to be conferred on 
the Minister of the Crown in charge of that department. 

(2) If any question arises whether any board, commissioners or 
other body on whom any such power as aforesaid is conferred are a 
government department within the meaning of this section, or what 
Minister of the Crown is in charge of them, that question shall be 
referred to and determined by the Treasury. ^ 

12 . — (1) The Rules Publication Act, 1893, is hereby repealed. 

(2) The publication in the London, Edinburgh or Belfast Gazette 



102 


Statutes 


of a notice stating that a statutory instrument has been made, and 
specifying the place where copies thereof may be purchased, shall be 
sufficient compliance with the provisions of any enactment, whether 
passed before or after the commencement of this Act, requiring that 
instrument to be published or notified in that Gazette. 

13 . — (r) This Act maybe cited as the Statutory Instruments Act, 1946. 

(2) This Act shall apply to any statutory instrument made by His 
Majesty in Gouncil or by any Minister of the Crown (not being a 
rule-making authority within the meaning of the Rules Publication 
Act (Northern Ireland), 1925) in so far as it extends to Northern 
Ireland, but except as aforesaid this Act shall not extend to Northern 
Ireland. 


TRADE DISPUTES AND TRADE UNIONS ACT, 1946 
9 and 10 Geo. 6, c. 52 

Be it enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with 
the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and 
Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and bv the authority 
of the same, as follows : 

1. The Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act, 1927 (in this Act 
referred to as “the Act of 1927”) is hereby repealed, and, subject to 
the transitional provisions set ou£ in the Schedule to this Act, every 
enactment and rule of law amended or otherwise affected by that Act 
shall, as from the commencement of this Act, have effect as if the Act 
of 1927 had not been passed. 

2. This Act may be cited as the Trade Disputes and Trade Unions Act, 
1946. 


COAL INDUSTRY NATIONALISATION ACT, 1946 
9 and 10 Geo. VI, c. 59 

An Act to establish public ownership and control of the coal-mining industry and 
certain allied activities; and for purposes connected therewith. 

\i 2th July 1946.1 

The National Coal Board 

1 . — (1*) There shall be a National Coal Board which shall, on and 
after the primary vesting date, be charged with the duties of — 

(<2) working and getting the coal in Great Britain, to the exclusion 
(save as in this Act provide^ of any other person; 



Coal Industry Nationalisation Act , 194.6 103 

{b) securing the efficient development of the coal-mining industry; and 

(c) making supplies of coal available, of such qualities and sizes, in 
such quantities and at such prices, as may seem to them best 
calculated to further the public interest in all respects, including 
the avoidance of any undue or unreasonable preference or advant- 
age. 

(2) The functions of the National Coal Board (in this Act referred 
to as “the Board 55 ) shall include the carrying on of all such activities 
as it may appear to the Board to be requisite, advantageous or con- 
venient for them to carry on for or in connection with the discharge 
of their duties under the preceding subsection, and in particular, but 
without prejudice to the generality of this section, — 

(a) searching and boring for coal in Great Britain, to the exclusion of 
% any other person; 

(b) treating, rendering saleable, supplying and selling coal; 

(c) producing, manufacturing, treating, rendering saleable, supplying 
and selling products of coal; 

(d) producing or manufacturing any goods or utilities which are of a 
kind required by the Board for or in connection with the working 
and getting of coal or any other of their activities, or which can 
advantageously be produced or manufactured by the Board by 
reason of their having materials or facilities for the production or 
manufacture thereof in connection with the working and getting 
of coal or any other of their activities, and supplying and selling 
goods or utilities so produced or manufactured; 

(e) any activities which can advantageously be carried on by the 
Board with a view to making the best use of any of the assets 
vested in them by this Act; 

(/) activities conducive to advancing the skill of persons employed or 
to be employed for the purposes of any of the activities aforesaid, 
or the efficiency of equipment and methods to be used therefor, 
including the provision by the Board themselves, and their assist- 
ing the provision by others, of facilities for training, education and 
research. 

(3) The Board shall have power to do any thing and to enter into 
any transaction (whether or not involving the expenditure, borrowing 
in accordance with the provisions of this Act in that behalf or lending 
of money, the acquisition of any property or rights, or the disposal of 
any property or rights not in their opinion required for the proper 
discharge of their functions) which in their opinion is calculated to 
facilitate the proper discharge of their duties under subsection (x) <*f 
this section or the carrying on by them of any such activities as afore- 
said, or is incidental or conducive thereto. 



Statutes 


104 

(4) The policy of the Board shall be directed to securing, consist- 
ently with the proper discharge of their duties under subsection (1) of 
this section, — - 

(a) the safety, health and welfare of persons in their employment; 

(b) the benefit of the practical knowledge and experience of such 
persons in the organisation and conduct of the operations in which 
they are employed; 

(c) that the revenues of the Board shall not be less than sufficient for 
meeting all their outgoings properly chargeable to revenue account 
(including, without prejudice to the generality of that expression, 
provisions in respect of their obligations under sections twenty-eight 
and twenty-nine of this Act) on an average of good and bad years. 

2 . — (1) The Board shall be a body corporate by the name of “the 
National Coal Board”, with perpetual succession and a common ^eal 
and power to hold land without licence in mortmain. 

(2) The Board shall consist of a chairman and eight other members. 

(3) The chairman and qther members of the Board shall be 
appointed by the Minister of Fuel and Power (in this Act referred to 
as “the Minister”) from amongst persons appearing to him to be 
qualified as having had experience of, and having shown capacity in, 
industrial, commercial or financial matters, applied science, adminis- 
tration, or the organisation of workers. 

(4) A person shall be disqualified for being appointed or being a 

member of the Board so long as he is a member of the Commons House 
of Parliament. r 

(5) The Minister shall appoint one of the members of the Board to 
act as deputy chairman. 

(6) There shall be paid to the members of the Board such salaries 
and allowances as may be determined by the Minister with the 
approval of the Treasury, and, on the retirement or death of any of 
them as to whom it may be so determined to make such provision, 
such pensions and gratuities to them or to others by reference to their 
service as may be so determined. 

The said salaries and allowances, and any such pensions and 
gratuities as aforesaid, shall be paid out of the revenues of the Board. 

(7) The Minister may make regulations with respect to — 

(<z) the appointment of, and the tenure and vacation of office by, the 
members of the Board; 

(b) the quorum, proceedings and meetings of the Board, and deter- 
minations of the Board ; and 

(c) the execution of instruments and the mode of entering into con- 
tracts by and on behalf of the Board, and t 3 ?e proof of documents 
purporting to be executed, issued or signed by the Board or a 
member, officer or servant thereof. 



Coal Industry Nationalisation Act , ig46 105 

(8) Subject to the provisions of any regulations made under the last 
preceding subsection, the Board shall have power to regulate their 
own procedure. 

3 . — (1) The Minister may, after consultation with the Board, give 
to the Board directions of a general character as to the exercise and 
performance by the Board of their functions in relation to matters 
appearing to the Minister to affect the national interest, and the 
Board shall give effect to any such directions. 

(2) In framing programmes of reorganisation or development in- 
volving substantial outlay on capital account, the Board shall act on 
lines settled from time to time with the approval of the Minister. 

(3) In the exercise and performance of their functions as to training, 
education and research, the Board shall act on lines settled as aforesaid. 

(4) The Board shall afford to the Minister facilities for obtaining 
information with respect to the property and activities of the Board, 
and shall furnish him with returns, accounts and other information 
with respect thereto and afford to him facilities for the verification of 
information furnished, in such manner # and at such times as he may 
require. 

4 . — (1) There shall be established for the purposes mentioned in 
this section two consumers’ councils, to be known respectively as the 
Industrial Coal Consumers’ Council and the Domestic Coal Con- 
sumers’ Council. 

(2) Each of the said councils shall consist of such number of persons 
as the Minister may think fit, appointed by him to represent the 
Board, and — » * 

(a) in the case of the Industrial Coal Consumers’ Council, after con- 
sultation with such bodies representative of the interests concerned 
as the Minister thinks fit, to represent consumers of coal, coke and 
manufactured fuel respectively, for industrial purposes or other 
purposes involving supply in bulk, and persons engaged in organ- 
ising or effecting the sale or supply, whether for home use or for 
export, of coal, coke and manufactured fuel respectively, for those 
purposes ; 

(b) in the case of the Domestic Coal Consumers’ Council, after con- 
sultation with such bodies representative of the interests concerned 
as the Minister thinks fit, to represent consumers of coal, coke and 
manufactured fuel respectively, for domestic purposes and other 
purposes not falling within the preceding paragraph, and persons 
engaged in organising or effecting the sale or supply of coal, coke 
and manufactured fuel respectively, for those purposes. • 

In formulating hk proposals for appointments to each of the said 
councils, the Minister shall have particular regard to nominations 
made to him by the said bodies .representative of the interests 



io6 


Statutes 


concerned of persons recommended by them as having both adequate 
knowledge of the requirements of those interests and also qualifications 
for exercising a wide and impartial judgment on the matters to be 
dealt with by the council generally. 

(3) The Industrial Goal Consumers 5 Council shall be charged with 
the duties — 

(a) of considering any matter affecting the sale or supply, whether for 
home use or for export, of coal, coke or manufactured fuel for the 
purposes mentioned in paragraph (a) of subsection (2) of this 
section which is the subject of a representation made to them by 
consumers for those purposes of coal, coke or manufactured fuel, 
as the case may be, or which appears to them to be a matter to 
which consideration ought to be given apart from any such repre- 
sentation, and, where action appears to them to be requisite as to 
any such matter, of notifying their conclusions to the Minister*, 

(b) of considering, and reporting to the Minister on, any such matter 
which may be referred to them by the Minister. 

c 

(4) The Domestic Coal Consumers 5 Council shall be charged with 
the like duties in relation to the sale or supply of coal, coke and manu- 
factured fuel for the purposes mentioned in paragraph (b) of subsection 
(2) of this section. 

(5) On the notification or making to the Minister by either of the 
said councils of their conclusions or report on any matter, if it appears 
to him, after consultation with the Board, that a defect is disclosed 
in the Board’s general arrangements for the production, sale or supply 
of coal, coke or manufactured fuel, as the case may be, he may give 
to the Board such directions as he may think requisite for remedying 
the defect, and the Board shall give effect to any such directions. . . . 

(8) Each of the said councils shall make an annual report to the 
Minister, and the Minister shall lay the reports before both Houses of 
Parliament. 

[§§ 5~ 2 5- Detailed provisions for the transfer of assets to the Board, com- 
pensation, etc.] 

[§ 26. The Mi n ister may make advances to the Board for capital expendi- 
ture.] 

[§27. The Board may, with the Minister’s consent, borrow sums not 
exceeding £10,000,000 at any one period.] 

[§28. Payments by the Board to the Minister to recoup expenses incurred 
by the Crown during the process of nationalisation, and of interest on 
advances.] 

29 . — (1) The Board shall establish a reserve fund. 

# (2) The management of the said fund, the su#is to be carried from 
time to time to the credit thereof, and the application thereof, shall be 
as the Board may determine : 



Coal Industry Nationalisation Act , 1946 107 

Provided that — 

(a) no part of the said fund shall be applied otherwise than for pur- 
poses of the Board; and 

(b) the power of the Minister to give directions to the Board shall 
extend to the giving of them, with the approval of the Treasury, 
of directions as to any matter relating to the establishment or man- 
agement of the said fund, the carrying of sums to the credit thereof, 
or the application thereof, notwithstanding that the directions 
may be of a specific character. 

30 . Any excess of the Board’s revenues for any financial year of the 
Board over their outgoings for that year properly chargeable to 
revenue account (including, without prejudice to the generality of 
that expression, provisions in respect of their obligations under the 
two Jast preceding sections) shall be applied for such purposes as the 
Board may determine: 

Provided that — 

(a) no part of any such excess shall be applied otherwise than for 
purposes of the Board ; and 

(b) the power of the Minister to give directions to the Board shall 
extend to the giving to them, with the approval of the Treasury, 
of directions as to the application of any such excess, notwith- 
standing that the directions may be of a specific character. 

31 . — (1) The Board shall keep proper accounts and other records 
in relation thereto, and shall prepare in respect # c*f each financial year 
of the Board a statement of accounts in such form as the Minister may 
direct, being a form which shall conform with the best commercial 
standards and which shall distinguish the colliery activities and each 
of the main ancillary activities of the Eoarcl. 

(2) The accounts of the Board shall be audited by auditors to be 
appointed annually by the Minister. 

(3) So soon as the accounts of the Board have been audited, they 
shall send a copy of the statement of accounts referred to in subsection 
(1) of this secdon to the Minister together with a copy of any report 
made by the auditors on that statement or on the accounts of the 
Board. 

(4) The Minister shall lay a copy of every such statement and report 
before each House of Parliament. 

[§§ 32-33. Provisions as to stock.] 

34 . — (1) The Treasury may issue to the Minister out of the Con- 
solidated Fund such jums as are necessary to enable him to mak% 
money payments, ancr advances to the Board, under this Act. 

(2) For the purpose of providing su*ns (or any part of sums) to be 



io8 


Statutes 


issued under the preceding subsection, or of providing for the replace- 
ment of all or any part of sums so issued, the Treasury may, at any 
time, if they think fit, raise money in any manner in which they are 
authorised to raise money under the National Loans Act, 1939, and 
any securities created and issued to raise money under this subsection 
shall be deemed for all purposes to have been created and issued under 
that Act. 

[§§ 35~45* Account of Minister’s receipts; provisions regarding superannua- 
tion, welfare of miners, research, etc.] 

46 . — (1) It shall be the duty of the Board to enter into consultation 
with organisations appearing to them to represent substantial propor- 
tions of the persons in the employment of the Board, or of any class 
of such persons, as to the Board’s concluding with those organisations 
agreements providing for the establishment and maintenance of joint 
machinery for — 

(a) the settlement by negotiation of terms and conditions of employ- 
ment, with provision for reference to arbitration in default of such 
settlement in such cases as may be determined by or under the 
agreements; and 

(b) consultation on — 

(i) questions relating to the safety, health or Welfare of such 
persons; 

(ii) the organisation and conduct of the operations in which such 
persons are employed and other matters of mutual interest to the 
Board and such persons arising out of the exercise and performance 
by the Board of their functions. 

(2) The Board shall deposit with the Minister and the Minister of 
Labour and National Service copies of any such agreement as afore- 
said entered into by the Board and of any instrument varying the 
terms of any such agreement. 

47 . Nothing in this Act shall be deemed to exempt the Board from 
liability for any tax, duty, rate, levy, or other charge whatsoever, 
whether general or local. 

[§ 48 , Transfer of certain liabilities from colliery concerns to the Board.] 

49 . — (1) The Public Authorities Protection Act, 1893, an< ^ section 
twenty-one of the Limitation Act, 1939, shall not apply to any action, 
prosecution or proceeding against the Board, or for or in respect of 
any ac^, neglect or default done or committed by a servant or agent 
of the Board in his capacity as a servant or agent of theirs. 

~ (2) In their application to any such action as- aforesaid sections two 
and three of the Limitation Act, 1939 (which delate to the limitation 
of actions of contract and tort- and certain other actions) shall have 



Coal Industry Nationalisation Act> 1946 109 

effect with the substitution for references therein to six years of refer- 
ences to three years. 

(3) No right adverse to the title of the Board to any coal or mine 

of coal shall be capable of being acquired under the Limitation Act, 

*939- * 

(4) For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that the author- 
isations conferred on the Board by section one of this Act, whilst dis- 
charging them in the exercise and performance of the functions therein 
mentioned from limitations to which they might otherwise have been 
subject arising from the law relating to the capacity of statutory cor- 
porations, are not to be construed as authorising disregard of any 
enactment or any act or omission unlawful on any other ground. 

[§ 50. The Board not required to insure against liabilities for workmen’s 
compensation.] 

[§? 5 X ~53* Board’s documents as public records, etc.] 

54. — (1) The Board shall, as soon as possible after the end of each 
financial year of the Board make to tjie Minister a report on the 
exercise and performance by them of their functions during that year 
and on their policy and programmes, and the Minister shall lay a 
copy of every such report before each House of Parliament. 

(2) The report for any year shall set out any direction given by the 
Minister to the Board during that year unless the Minister has notified 
to the Board his opinion that it is against the national interest so to do. 

[§§ 55-61. General provisions regarding disclosures of information relating 
to individual businesses, penalties for fa!%e information, prosecutions, arbitra- 
tion, etc.] 

62. — (1) Regulations made 'whether by the Minister or by the 
Treasury) for the purposes of any provision of this Act (in this section 
referred to, in relation to the regulations in question, as “the author- 
ising enactment’ 5 ) may, in addition to providing for any matters 
specified in the authorising enactment, provide — 

(a) for imposing limits of time within which things to be done for the 
purposes of the regulations must be done, with or without power 
to any authority therein specified to extend limits imposed; 

(b) for punishing persons offending against provisions of the regula- 
tions ; 

(c) for the determination of questions of fact or of law which may 
arise in giving effect to the regulations, and as to evidence for that 
purpose, and for regulating (otherwise than in relation* to any 
court proceedings) any matters relating to the practice and proce- 
dure to be follow^ in connection with the determination of such, 
questions, including provision as to parties and their representa- 
tion and provision for the right to appear and be heard (as we^i in 



1 10 


Statutes 


court proceedings as otherwise) of the Minister, District Valuation 
Boards, referees, or other authorities, and as to awarding costs of 
proceedings for the determination of such questions, determining 
the amount thereof and the enforcement of awards thereof; 

(d) for amending or repealing enactments inconsistent with the pro- 
vision to be made for the purposes of the authorising enactment, 
and for applying enactments with or without modification; and 
{e) for any incidental or supplementary matters for which it appears 
to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the 
authorising enactment to provide: 

Provided that any punishment imposed by virtue of paragraph (b) 
of this subsection shall not exceed that provided for by section fifty- 
eight of this Act or, in the case of a fine imposed in respect of each 
day on which a person is in default, five pounds. 

(2) Regulations made (whether by the Minister or by the Treasury) 
under this Act shall be laid before Parliament as soon as may be after 
they are made, and if either House of Parliament within the period of 
forty days beginning with the day on which any such regulations are 
laid before it resolves that the regulations be annulled, the regulations 
shall thereupon become void, without prejudice, however, to the 
validity of anything previously done thereunder or to the making of 
new regulations. 

In reckoning any such period of forty days as aforesaid, no account 
shall be taken of any time during which Parliament is dissolved or 
prorogued, or during. which both Houses are adjourned for more tfian 
four days. 

(3) Notwithstanding anything in subsection (4) of section one of the 
Rules Publication Act, 1893, regulations made (whether by the 
Minister or by the Treasury) under this Act shall be deemed not to 
be, or to contain, statutory rules to which that section applies. 

[§ 63, Interpretation of expressions.] 

[§ 64, Application to Scotland.] 

65 . — (1) This Act may be cited as the Coal Industry Nationalisation 
Act, 1946. 

(2) This Act shall not extend to Northern Ireland. . . . 

[Four schedules omitted.] 



National Health Service Act , 194.6 


hi 


NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICE ACT, 1946 
9 and 10 Geo* 6, c* 81 

Part I 

CENTRAL ADMINISTRATION 

1 . — (1) It shall be the duty of the Minister of Health (hereafter in 
this Act referred to as “the Minister”) to promote the establishment 
in England and Wales of a comprehensive health service designed to 
secure improvement in the physical and mental health of the people 
of England and Wales and the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of 
illness, and for that purpose to provide or secure the effective provision 
of services in accordance with the following provisions of this Act. 

(«) The services so provided shall be free of charge, except where 
any provision of this Act expressly provides for the making and 
recovery of charges. 

2. — (1) There shall be constituted . ♦ . a council, to be called the 
Central Health Services Council and hereafter in this Act referred to 
as “the Central Council”, and it shall be the duty of the Central 
Council to advise the Minister upon such general matters relating to 
the services p^pvided under this Act. or any services provided by local 
health authorities in their capacity as such authorities, as the Council 
think fit and upon any questions referred to them by him relating to 
those services. . . . 

*(3) The Minister may, after consultation with the Central Council, 
by order constitute standing advisory committees for the purpose of 
advising him and the Central Council on such of the services aforesaid 
as may be specified in the order. . . . 

(5) The Central Council shall make an annual report to the Minister 
on their proceedings and on the proceedings of any standing advisory 
committee constituted under this section, and the Minister shall lay that 
report before Parliament with such comments (if any) as he thinks fit: 

Provided that, if the Minister, after consultation with the Central 
Council, is satisfied that it would be contrary to the public interest to 
lay any such report, or a part of any such report, before Parliament, 
he may refrain from laying that report or part. . . . 

Part II 

HOSPITAL AND SPECIALIST SERVICES 

Provision of Services by Minister 
\ *% 

3 . — (1) As from the appointed day, it shall be the duty of the Min- 
ister to provide throughout England ^nd Wales, to such extent as he 



1 1 2 Statutes 

considers necessary to meet all reasonable requirements, accommoda- 
tion and services of the following descriptions, that is to say: 

(a) hospital accommodation; 

(b) medical, nursing and other services required at or for the purposes 
of hospitals ; 

(c) the service of specialists, whether at a hospital, a health centre 
provided under Part III of this Act or a clinic or, if necessary on 
medical grounds, at the home of the patient; 

and any accommodation and services provided under this section are 

in this Act referred to as “hospital and specialist services”. 

(2) Regulations may provide for the making and recovery by the 

Minister of such charges as may be prescribed — 

(a) in respect of the supply, as part of the hospital and specialist ser- 
vices, of any appliance which is, at the request of the person 
supplied, of a more expensive type than the prescribed type, or in 
respect of the replacement or repair of any such appliance. . . . 

[§§ 4~5- Payments by private patients.] 


Transfer of Hospitals to the Minister 

6 . — (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, there shall, on the 
appointed day, be transferred to and vest in the Minister by virtue of 
this Act all interests in or attaching to premises forming part of a 
voluntary hospital or tlsed for the purposes of a voluntary hospital. .' . . 

(2) Subject to the provisions of this Act, there shall also, on the 
appointed day, be transferred to and vest in the Minister by virtue of 
this Act all hospitals vested in a local authority immediately before the 
appointed day. . . . 

[§ 7, Endowments of voluntary hospitals.] 

[§ 8. Exception for medical and dental schools.] 

[§§ 9-10. Supplementary provisions.] 

11 . — (1) The Minister shall by order constitute . . . boards, to be 
called Regional Hospital Boards, for such areas as he may by order 
determine, for the purpose of exercising functions with respect to the 
administration of hospital and specialist services in those areas. . . . 

(3) Every Regional Hospital Board shall, within such period as the 
Minister may by direction specify, submit to the Minister a scheme 
for the appointment by them of committees, to be called Hospital 
Management Committees, for the purpose of exercising functions with 
pespect to the management and control of individual hospitals or 
groups of hospitals, other than teaching hospitals, providing hospital 
and specialist services in the arsa of the Board. . . . 



National Health Service Act , 1946 1 1 3 

12 . — (1) Subject to the exercise of functions by Hospital Management 
Committees . . . , it shall be the duty of a Regional Hospital Boards sub- 
ject to and in accordance with regulations and such directions as may 
be given by the Minister, generally to administer on behalf of the 
Minister the hospital and specialist services provided in their area. . . . 

[§§ I 3~ I 4* Legal status of boards and committees; conditions of service of 
hospital officers.] 

[§ 15. Incorporation of medical schools in London.] 

[§§ 16-18. The Minister may provide research, bacteriological and blood 
transfusion services.] 

Part III 

HEALTH SERVICES PROVIDED BY LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES 

19 . — (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the local authority 
for»the purposes of this Part of this Act, who shall be called the “local 
health authority 55 , shall for each county be the council of the county 
and for each county borough be the council of the county borough. 

[(2) The Minister may combine authorities into joint boards.] 

20 . — (1) Every local health authority shall, within such period as 
the Minister may by direction specify, submit to the Minister pro- 
posals for carrying out their duties under the next following eight 
sections of thS Act. . . . 

(3) The Minister may approve the proposals with or without 
modifications (which may include additions or exceptions), and it 
shall be the duty of the local health authorin' to carry out their duties 
under the next following eight sections of this Act in accordance with 
the proposals submitted and approved tor their area under this 
section, subject to any modifications made by subsequent proposals so 
submitted and approved. . . . 

[§§ 21-28. Local authorities shall provide health centres; make arrange- 
ments for the care of mothers and young children; provide midwifery services; 
provide for home nursing ; make arrangements for vaccination and immunisa- 
tion; ensure that ambulances are available; and provide for preventive 
measures and the care of convalescents.] 

[§ 29, A local authority may provide domestic help for households in which 
there is an invalid.] 

[Parts IV (General Services) and V (Mental Health Services) omitted.] 

Part VI 

GENERAL 

Financial Provisions 

52 . — (1) Any expanses incurred by the Minister in the exercise of 
his functions under this Act, the Lunacy and Mental Treatment Acts, 



Statutes 


114 

1890 to 1930, or the Mental Deficiency Acts, 1913 to 1938, shall be 
defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament. 

(2) All sums received by the Minister under this Act, except sums 
required to be transferred to the Hospital Endowments Fund, shall 
be paid into the Exchequer. 

53 . — (1) In respect of the period beginning with the appointed day 
and ending with the thirty-first day of March next following and each 
subsequent period of twelve months, there shall be paid out of moneys 
provided by Parliament to every local health authority a grant in 
respect of the expenditure, estimated in the prescribed manner, 
incurred by the authority in carrying out their functions as a local 
health authority, whether under this Act or any other enactment, and 
the grant shall be payable in accordance with regulations made by the 
Minister with the approval of the Treasury: 

Provided that the total amount of the grant payable to any lpcal 
health authority in respect of any such period shall not exceed three- 
quarters of the total expenditure estimated as aforesaid of that authority 
and shall not be less than three-eighths of that expenditure. 

[§§ 54-56. Payments to Regional Hospital Boards, etc., accounts, etc.] 
Administrative Provisions 

r 

57 . — (1) Where the Minister is of opinion, on complaint or other- 
wise, that any Regional Hospital Board, Board of Governors of a 
teaching hospital, Hospital Management Committee, Executive 
Council, Ophthalmic Services Committee or local health authority/ or 
the Medical Practices Committee or the Dental Estimates Board have 
failed to carry out any functions conferred or imposed on them by 
or under this Act, or have in carrying out those functions failed to 
comply with any regulations or directions relating thereto, he may 
after such inquiry as he may think fit make an order declaring them 
to be in default. 

(2) Except where the body in default is a local health authority, 
the members of the body shall forthwith vacate their office and the 
order shall provide for the appointment, in accordance with the pro- 
visions of this Act, of new members of the body, and may contain such 
provisions as seem to the Minister expedient for authorising any person 
to act in the place of the body in question pending the appointment of 
the new members. 

(3) If the body in default is a local health authority, the order shall 
direct tfiem, for the purposes of remedying the default, to discharge 
such of their functions, in such manner and within such time or times, 
*s may be specified in the order, and if the authority fail to comply 
with any direction given under this subsection, within the time limited 
for compliance therewith, the Minister, in lieu of enforcing the order 



National Health Service Act , 1946 x 1 5 

by mandamus or otherwise, may make an order transferring to himself 
such of the functions of the authority as he thinks fit. 

(4) Any expenses certified by the Minister to have been incurred by 
him in discharging functions transferred to him under this section 
from a local health authority shall on demand be paid to him by that 
authority and shall be recoverable by him from them as a debt due 
to the Crown. . . . 

[§§ 58-80 and ten schedules omitted.] 


CROWN PROCEEDINGS ACT, 1947 
10 and 11 Geo. 6, c. 44 

1. % Where any person has a claim against the Crown after the com- 
mencement of this Act, and, if this Act had not been passed, the claim 
might have been enforced, subject to the grant of His Majesty’s fiat, 
by petition of right, or might have be*en enforced by a proceeding 
provided by any statutory provision repealed by this Act, then, sub- 
ject to the provisions of this Act, the claim may be enforced as of right, 
and without the fiat of His Majesty, by proceedings taken against 
the Crown for* that purpose in accordance with the provisions of this 
Act. 

2. — ( 1 ) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Crown shall be 
subject to all those liabilities in tort to which, if it were a private 
person of full age and capacity, it would be subject: 

(a) in respect of torts committed by its servants or agents ; 

(h) in respect of any breach of those duties which a person otves to his 
servants or agents at common law by reason of being their em- 
ployer; and 

(c) in respect of any breach of the duties attaching at common law to 
the ownership, occupation, possession or control of property: 

Provided that no proceedings shall lie against the Crown by virtue 
of paragraph (a) of this subsection in respect of any act or omission of 
a servant or agent of the Crown unless the act or omission would apart 
from the provisions of this Act have given rise to a cause of action in 
tort against that servant or agent or his estate. 

(2) Where the Crown is bound by a statutory duty which is binding 
also upon persons other than the Crown and its officers, then, subject 
to the provisions of this Act, the Crown shall, in respect of h failure 
to comply with that duty, be subject to all those liabilities in tort (if 
any) to which it wou^d be so subject if it were a private person of fuii 
age and capacity. 



ii6 


Statutes 


(3) Where any functions are conferred or imposed upon an officer 
of the Crown as such either by any rule of the common law or by 
statute, and that officer commits a tort while performing or purporting 
to perform those functions, the liabilities of the Crown in respect of the 
tort shall be such as they would have been if those functions had been 
conferred or imposed solely by virtue of instructions lawfully given by 
the Crown. 

(4) Any enactment which negatives or limits the amount of the 
liability of any Government department or officer of the Crown in 
respect of any tort committed by that department or officer shall, in 
the case of proceedings against the Crown under this section in respect 
of a tort committed by that department or officer, apply in relation 
to the Crown as it would have applied in relation to that department 
or officer if the proceedings against the Crown had been proceedings 
against that department or officer. 

(5) No proceedings shall lie against the Crown by virtue of this 
section in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by any 
person while discharging or purporting to discharge any responsibilities 
of a judicial nature vested in him, or any responsibilities which he has 
in connection with the execution of judicial process. 

(6) No proceedings shall lie against the Crown by virtue of this 
section in respect of any act, neglect or default of any officer of the 
Crown, unless that officer has been directly or indirectly appointed 
by the Crown and was at the material time paid in respect of his 
duties as an officer of the Crown wholly out of the Consolidated Fund 
of the United Kingdopi, moneys provided by Parliament, the Road 
Fund, or any other Fund certified by the Treasury for the purposes of 
this subsection or was at the material time holding an office in respect 
of which the Treasury certify that the holder thereof would normally 
be so paid. 

[§§ 3“9 • Provisions regarding industrial property, the law as to indemnity, 
contributory negligence, etc., Crown ships, docks and harbours, etc.] 

10 . — (1) Nothing done or omitted to be done by a member of the 
armed forces of the Crown while on duty as such shall subject either 
him or the Crown to liability in tort for causing the death of another 
person, or for causing personal injury to another person, in so far as 
the death or personal injury is due to anything suffered by that 
other person while he is a member of the armed forces of the Crown 
if— 

(a) at the time when that thing is suffered by that other person, he is 
either on duty as a member of the armed forces of the Crown or 
is, though not on duty as such, on any land, premises, ship, air- 
craft or vehicle for the time being used fo# the purposes of the 
armed forces of the Crown ^ and 



Crown Proceedings Act , igg.y uy 

( b ) the Minister of Pensions certifies that his suffering that thing has 
been or will be treated as attributable to service for the purposes 
of entitlement to an award under the Royal Warrant, Order in 
Council or Order of His Majesty relating to the disablement or 
death of members of the force of which he is a member : 

Provided that this subsection shall not exempt a member of the said 
forces from liability in tort in any case in which the court is satisfied 
that the act or omission was not connected with the execution of his 
duties as a member of those forces. 

(2) No proceedings in tort shall lie against the Crown for death or 
personal injury due to anything suffered by a member of the armed 
forces of the Crown if — 

(a) that thing is suffered by him in consequence of the nature or con- 
dition of any such land, premises, ship, aircraft or vehicle as afore- 
said, or in consequence of the nature or condition of any equip- 
ment or supplies used for the purposes of those forces ; and 
(1 b ) the Minister of Pensions certifies a$ mentioned in the preceding 
subsection; 

nor shall any act or omission of an officer of the Crown subject him 
to liability in tort for death or personal injury, in so far as the death 
or personal ii3*ury is due to anything suffered by a member of the 
armed forces of the Crown being a thing as to which the conditions 
aforesaid are satisfied. 

(3) The Admiralty or a Secretary of State, if satisfied that it is the 

fact: — ’ 

(a) that a person was or was not on any particular occasion on duty 
as a member of the armed forces of the Crown; or 

(b) that at any particular time any land, premises, ship, aircraft, 
vehicle, equipment or supplies was or was not, or were or were 
not, used for the purposes of the said forces ; 

may issue a certificate certifying that to be the fact; and any such 
certificate shall, for the purposes of this section, be conclusive as to 
the fact which it certifies. 

11 . — (1) Nothing in Part I of this Act shall extinguish or abridge 
any powers or authorities which, if this Act had not been passed, 
would have been exercisable by virtue of the prerogative of the Crown, 
or any powers or authorities conferred on the Crown by any statute, 
and, in particular, nothing in the said Part I shall extinguish or 
abridge any powers or authorities exercisable by the Crown, whether 
in time of peace or of war, for the purpose of the defence of the realn^ 
or of training, or maintaining the efficiency of, any of the armed 
forces of the Crown. 



Statutes 


1 18 

(2) Where in any proceedings under this Act it is material to 
determine whether anything was properly done or omitted to be done 
in the exercise of the prerogative of the Crown, the Admiralty or a 
Secretary of State may, if satisfied that the act or omission was neces- 
sary for any such purpose as is mentioned in the last preceding sub- 
section, issue a certificate to the effect that the act or omission was 
necessary for that purpose; and the certificate shall, in those proceed- 
ings, be conclusive as to the matter so certified. 

[§ 12. Transitional provisions.] 

[§§ 13-15. Proceedings in the High Court and in county courts.] 

16 . The Crown may obtain relief by way of interpleader proceedings, 
and may be made a party to such proceedings, in the same manner 
in which a subject may obtain relief by way of such proceedings or be 
made a party thereto, and may be made a party to such proceedings 
notwithstanding that the application for relief is made by a sheriif or 
other like officer; and all rules of court and county court rules relating 
to interpleader proceedings shall, subject to the provisions of this Act, 
have effect accordingly. 

17 . — (1) The Treasury shall publish a list specifying the several 
Government departments which are authorised departments for the 
purposes of this Act, and the name and address for service of the 
person who is, or is acting for the purposes of this Act /s, the solicitor 
for each such department, and may from time to time amend or vary 
the said list. . . . 

(2) Civil proceedings by the Crown may be instituted either by an 
authorised Government department in its own name, whether that 
department was or was not at the commencement of this Act authorised 
to sue, or by the Attorney General. 

(3) Civil proceedings against the Crown shall be instituted against 
the appropriate authorised Government department, or, if none of the 
authorised Government departments is appropriate or the person insti- 
tuting the proceedings has any reasonable doubt whether any and if so 
which of those departments is appropriate, against the Attorney General. 

(4) Where any civil proceedings against the Crown are instituted 
against the Attorney General, an application may at any stage of the 
proceedings be made to the court by or on behalf of the Attorney 
General to have such of the authorised Government departments as 
may be specified in the application substituted for him as defendant 
to the proceedings; and where any such proceedings are brought 
against an authorised Government department, an application may 
at any stage of the proceedings be made to the court on behalf of that 
department to have the Attorney General or such of the authorised 
Government departments as may be specified it the application sub- 
stituted for the applicant as th$. defendant to the proceedings. 



Crown Proceedings Act , IQ4? 1 19 

Upon any such application the court may if it thinks fit make an 
order granting the application on such terms as the court thinks just; 
and on such an order being made the proceedings shall continue as if 
they had been commenced against the department specified in that 
behalf in the order, or, as the case may require, against the Attorney 
General. 

(d) No proceedings instituted in accordance with this Part of this 
Act by or against the Attorney General or an authorised Government 
department shall abate or be affected by any change in the person 
holding the office of Attorney General or in the person or body of 
persons constituting the department. 

[§§ 18-39 omitted.] 

40. — (1) Nothing in this Act shall apply to proceedings by or against, 
or authorise proceedings in tort to be brought against His Majesty in 
His private capacity. 

(2) Except as therein otherwise expressly provided, nothing in this 
Act shall : — 

(a) affect the law relating to prize salvage, or apply to proceedings in 
causes or matters within the jurisdiction of the High Court as a 
prize court or to any criminal proceedings: or 

(b) authorise proceedings to be taken against the Crown under or in 
accordance with this Act in respect of any alleged liability of the 
Crown arising otherwise than in respect of His Majesty's Govern- 
ment in the United Kingdom, or affect proceedings against the 

* Crown in respect of any such alleged liability as aforesaid ; or 
{c) affect any proceedings by the Crown otherwise than in right of His 
Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom; or 

(d) subject the Crown to any greater liabilities in respect of the acts or 
omissions of any independent contractor employed by the Crown 
than those to which the Crown would be subject in respect of such 
acts or omissions if it were a private person; or 

(e) subject the Crown, in its capacity as a highway authority, to any 
greater liability than that to which a local authority is subject in 
that capacity; or 

(/) affect any rules of evidence or any presumption relating to the 
extent to which the Crown is bound by any Act of Parliament. . . . 

and, without prejudice to the general effect of the foregoing provisions, 
Part III of this Act shall not apply to the Crown except in right of His 
Majesty’s Government in the United Kingdom. 

(3) A certificate of a Secretary of State: — 

(a) to the effect that any alleged liability of the Crown arises otherwise 
than in respect oHHis Majesty’s Government in the United King- 
dom; 



120 


Statutes 


(b) to the effect that any proceedings by the Crown are proceedings 
otherwise than in right of His Majesty’s Government in the 
United Kingdom; 

shall, for the purposes of this Act, be conclusive as to the matter so 
certified. . . . 

(5) This Act shall not operate to limit the discretion of the court to 
grant relief by way of mandamus in cases in which such relief might 
have been granted before the commencement of this Act, notwith- 
standing that by reason of the provisions of this Act some other and 
further remedy is available. 

[§§ 41-54 an d two schedules omitted.] 


SUPPLIES AND SERVICES (EXTENDED PURPOSES) ACT, 1947 
10 and 11 Geo. 6, c. 55 

An Act to extend the purposes of the Supplies and Services ( Transitional Powers) 
Act , 1945. 

[13th August 1947.] 

Whereas under the Supplies and Services (Transitional Powers) Act, 
1945, Defence Regulations appearing to His Majesty to be necessary 
or expedient for the purposes mentioned in subsection (1) of section 
one of that Act (being purposes connected mainly with the orderly 
transition from war to peace, the maintenance of a sufficiency of 
supplies essential to the well-being of the community and the alloca- 
tion of available supplies and services during the transition) were 
continued in force by virtue of that Act: 

And whereas, by reason of the war and the dislocation of trade 
consequent thereon, supplies and services available are, or are likely 
shortly to become, insufficient for meeting the essential needs of the 
community, and it has become necessary that the use of the powers 
conferred by those Regulations should be directed more particularly 
to increasing production and redressing the balance of trade : 

Now, therefore, be it enacted by the King’s most Excellent Majesty, 
by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Tem- 
poral, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the 
authority of the same, as follows : — 

1 . — (*) The Regulations which at the date of the passing of this Act 
have effect by virtue of the Supplies and Services (Transitional 
^Powers) Act, 1945 (hereafter in tiffs Act referred to as “the Act of 
1945”), and any orders or other instruments in force thereunder, shall, 
in sp far as their operation is limited, expressly or by implication, to 



1 2 I 


Supplies and Services Act, igpy 

the purposes mentioned in subsection (i) of section one of that Act, 
be extended so as to be applicable for the following additional purposes, 
that is to say: — 

(a) for promoting the productivity of industry, commerce and agricul- 
ture; 

(b) for fostering and directing exports and reducing imports, or 
imports of any classes, from all or any countries and for redressing 
the balance of trade; and 

(c) generally for ensuring that the whole resources of the community 
are available for use, and are used, in a manner best calculated to 
serve the interests of the community; 

and accordingly any references in the said Regulations, orders and 
other instruments to the purposes mentioned in subsection (i) of 
section one of that Act shall be construed as including references to 
the purposes aforesaid: 

Provided that nothing in this Act shall be held to authorise the 
suppression or suspension of any newspaper, periodical, book or other 
publication. 

(2) In section three of the Act of 1945 (which confers powers to 
revoke and vary Regulations having effect by virtue of that Act) 
references to tjie purposes specified in subsection f 1 ; of section one of 
that Act shall be construed as including references to the purposes 
specified in the preceding subsection. 

(3) In paragraph (d) of subsection (2) of section one of the Emer- 
gency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939,, as applied* by section five oi the 
Act of 1945, to Regulations having effect by virtue of that Act, and 
in subsection (4) of that section as so applied, the expression ‘ ‘enact- 
ment 5 5 shall mean any enactment passed before the commencement of 
this Act, other than the Act of 1945 and the provisions of the Emer- 
gency Powers (Defence) Acts, 1939 and 1940, applied by section five 
of the Act of 1945. 

(4) His Majesty may by Order in Council direct that the preceding 
provisions of this section shall apply, with such exceptions, adaptations, 
and modifications, if any, as may be specified in the Order, in relation 
to — 

(a) any Regulation having effect by virtue of the Act of 1945 i* 1 or * n 
respect of any of the countries or territories specified in section 
four of the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939, and any orders 
or other instruments made thereunder; and 
(. b ) any power to vary such Regulations. 

2 . This Act may be cited as the Supplies and Services (Extended* 
Purposes) Act, 1947. 



122 


Statutes 


LOCAL GOVERNMENT ACT, 1948 
11 and 12 Geo. 6, c. 26 

Part I 

Exchequer Grants and Other Financial Provisions (. England and Wales) 
Discontinued Grants 

1. Save as otherwise provided by this Part of this Act — 

( a ) no Exchequer grant shall be payable under the Local Government 
Acts, 1929 to 1946, for the year 1948-49 or any subsequent year; 
and 

(b) the third fixed grant period shall for the purposes of all enactments 
be terminated at the end of March, nineteen hundred and f?rty- 
eight. 

Exchequer Grants to Counties and r County Boroughs 

2. — (1) Where for the year 1948-49 or any subsequent year the 
rateable value for a county or county borough is less than the standard 
rateable value for that county or county borough (as defined by the 
subsequent provisions of this Part of this Act), there sh ^.11 be paid out 
of moneys provided by Parliament to the council of the county or 
county borough a grant equal to the relevant fraction (as so defined) 
of the amount of the difference. 

(2) The said difference is in t^ie subsequent provisions of this Part 
of this Act referred to as the rateable value credited to the county or 
county borough. 

(3) Grants under this section are in the subsequent provisions of this 
Part of this Act referred to as “Exchequer Equalisation Grants. 55 

3 . — (1) The standard rateable value for a county or county borough 
for the purposes of the preceding provisions of this Part of this Act is 
the amount which bears to the weighted population of that county or 
county borough for the year in question that same proportion as the 
sum which is to be taken for the purposes of this subsection as the rate- 
able value for England and Wales for that year bears to the aggregate 
of the weighted populations of all the counties and county boroughs 
in England and Wales for that year. 

(2) In this section, the expression “the weighted population 55 in 
relation to a county or county borough means the population thereof 
plus th$ number of children under fifteen years of age therein and, in 
the case of a county the population whereof divided by the road- 
.^mileage thereof is less than seventy, plus also one-third of the additional 
population needed in order that the populationfthereof divided by the 
road-mileage thereof should bef-seventy. 



123 


Local Government Act , 1948 

(3) The sum which is to be taken for the purposes of subsection (1) 
of this section as the rateable value for England and Wales for any 
year is the rateable value for England and Wales for that year, in- 
creased, in the case of any year subsequent to the year 1948-49, to 
such extent, if any, as the Minister may direct in relation to that 
subsequent year. 

(4) The power conferred on the Minister by the last preceding sub- 
section to direct such increases as are therein referred to shall, as 
respects any year, be used for the purpose and only for the purpose 
of securing that the proportion which the aggregate of the rateable 
values credited to all the counties and county boroughs in England 
and Wales bears to ‘the rateable value for England and Wales shall be 
as nearly as may be the same for that year as for the year 1948-49; 
but the Minister shall not use the said power as respects any year 
unless the effect of the use thereof would be to increase the aggregate 
of the rateable values credited to all counties and county boroughs in 
England and Wales for that year by at least one per cent. 

4 . — (1) The relevant fraction for a county or county borough for 
the purposes of the preceding provisions of this Part of this Act is the 
fraction arrived at by dividing the relevant local expenditure for the 
year in question by the sum of the following amounts, that is to say, 
the rateable y^tlue credited to the county or county borough for that 
year and the product of a rate of one pound in the pound for the 
county or county borough for that year. 

(2) In this section, the expression <% the relevant local expenditure 5 
means so much of the total expenditure for the* year — 

(a) in the case of a county, of the council of the county and of the other 
local authorities in the county: and 
(£) in the case of a county borough, of the council of the county 
borough, 

as would have to be met out of rates levied within the county or 
county borough if no Exchequer Grants under this Part of this Act 
and (so far as any such Grant is relevant to the year in question) no 
Exchequer Grants payable for any previous year under the Local 
Government Acts, 1929 to 1946, were payable, and if no grants had 
been made out of moneys provided by Parliament to local authorities 
by the Minister by way of special assistance in respect of their financial 
difficulties arising out of the war. 

(3) Where, by virtue of a precept or other instrument, not being a 
precept or instrument issued by a county council, any sum f^lls to be 
paid by a local authority to any other authority, the amount payable 
shall be treated for the purposes of subsection (2) of this section a^ 
expenditure of the fi&t-mentioned authority. 

(4) The provisions of subsection (2> of this section shall, as respects 



Statutes 


124 

the year 1948-49, have effect subject to the special provisions relating 
to Exchequer Grants for that year contained hereafter in this Part 
of this Act. 

[§ 5. Exchequer Transitional Grants for the first five years.] 

6. — (1) The Minister may, subject to the provisions of this section, 
reduce any Exchequer Equalisation Grant or Exchequer Transitional 
Grant payable to a council by such amount as he thinks just, if — 

(a) he is satisfied, either upon representations made to him or without 
any such representations, that the council have failed to achieve 
or maintain a reasonable standard of efficiency and progress in the 
discharge of their functions, regard being had to the standards 
maintained in other areas ; or 

( b ) he is satisfied that the expenditure of the council has been excessive 
and unreasonable, regard being had to the financial resources and 
other relevant circumstances of the area. 

(2) Before reducing any grant by virtue of this section, the Minister 
shall make and cause to be laid before Parliament a report stating the 
amount of the reduction, and the reasons therefor, and he shall not 
make the reduction until the said report is approved by a resolution 
of the Commons House of Parliament. 

7 . — (1) The amount of any grant payable out of moneys provided 
by Parliament under subsection (1) of section fifty- three of the National 
Health Service Act, 1946, to a local health authority shall, in lieu 
of being determined by regulations under the said subsection (1), 
be one-half of the expenditure in respect of which the grant is 
made. . . . 

[§ 8. Payments to voluntary associations.] 

9 . — (1) Before the beginning of the year 1948-49 and each subse- 
quent year, the Minister shall estimate for the year in relation to 
every county district in England and Wales the amount following, that 
is to say, the amount which is equal to the fraction hereinafter specified 
of the aggregate of the Exchequer Equalisation Grants which will 
become payable for that year to the councils of counties in England 
and Wales outside London, and the council of each county shall pay 
to the council of each county district in the county the amount so 
estimated by the Minister in relation to that district. 

(2) That said fraction is — 

(a) in the case of any county district other than a rural district, one- 
half of the population of the county district; and 

(b) in the case of a rural district, one-quarter o£ the population of the 
rural district, 



Local Government Act, i g 48 125 

divided, in any case, by the aggregate of the population of all counties 
in England and Wales outside London. 

(3) Any payment under this section may, if the councils concerned 
so agree, be effected in whole or in part by making the appropriate 
deduction from the amount due under a precept. 

[§ 10. Payments to metropolitan boroughs.] 

[§§ 11-16 (Miscellaneous) and Part II (Scotland) omitted.] 

Part III 

Valuation and Rating Procedure 

General 

33 . — (1) Valuation lists shall, instead of being prepared and 
amended by the bodies and at the times, in accordance with the con- 
ditions and subject to the rights as to objection and appeal specified 
in the Rating and Valuation Acts, 1925 to 1940, and the Rating 
and Valuation (Metropolis) Acts, 1869 t0 x 94 °> prepared and 
amended by valuation officers of the Commissioners of Inland 
Revenue at the times, in accordance with the conditions and subject 
to the rights as to objection and appeal specified in this Part of this 
Act; and 

• 

(1 a ) assessment committees, county valuation committees and the 
central valuation committee shall cease to exist.; and 
(b) save as hereafter provided in this Part of this Act, rating authorities 
# shall have no functions in relation to the preparation and amend- 
ment of valuation lists. 

(2) Nothing in this section affects any rights of a rating authority as 
a person who is aggrieved by anything done or omitted to be done by 
the valuation officer in a valuation list or draft valuation list in relation 
to any hereditament. 

(3) In this Part of this Act, the expression “the valuation officer 55 , 
in relation to a valuation list, means such officer of the Commissioners 
of Inland Revenue as may for the time being be authorised by the 
Commissioners to act (either generally or for the particular purpose in 
question) as the valuation officer in relation to that list. 

[§ 34. Provisions for new valuation lists at five-yearly intervals.] 

[§§ 35-43 • Preparation and revision of, and objections to, valuation lists.] 

44. — ( x ) Local valuation courts constituted as hereinafter provided 
shall be convened as often as may be necessary for the purpose of 
hearing and determining appeals under the preceding provisions o^ 
this Part of this Act against draft valuation lists and against objections 
to proposals for the alteration of valuation lists. ... 

Kbg 



126 Statutes 

(3) Every such court shall consist of — 

[a) either the chairman of the local valuation panel or the deputy 
chairman (or, if more than one, one of the deputy chairmen) 
thereof; and 

( b ) two other members of the panel selected in accordance with the 
scheme under which the panel is constituted. 

45 . — (1) It shall be the duty of the council of every county and 
county borough to make and submit to the Minister a scheme for the 
constitution of a local valuation panel for the county or county borough 
or two or more local valuation panels for areas which together com- 
prise the whole of the county or county borough: 

Provided that any two or more councils, whether councils of counties 
or of county boroughs, may, and, if so directed by the Minister, shall, 
make and submit to the Minister a joint scheme for the constitution 
of a local valuation panel or local valuation panels for the whole of 
their respective areas, or for areas which together comprise the whole 
of their respective areas. . . . r 

[§§ 46-48. Membership, staff, expenses, procedure, etc., of panels and 
valuation courts.] 

49 . — (1) Any person who, in pursuance of the last preceding 
section, appeared before a local valuation court on the hearing of an 
appeal and is aggrieved by the decision of the court thereon may, 
within twenty-one days from the date of the decision, appeal to the 
county court for the gounty court district in which the hereditament 
in question is situated, or, where The hereditament extends into more 
than one county court district, to the county court for any one of the 
county court districts in which any part of the hereditament is situated, 
and the court, after hearing such of the persons as appeared as afore- 
said as desire to be heard, may give any directions which the local 
valuation court might have given. . . . 

50 . — (1) Notwithstanding anything in the preceding provisions of 
this Part of this Act, the persons who would be entitled to appear and 
be heard before any local valuation court or any county court may by 
agreement in writing agree to refer to arbitration any matter which 
would but for the agreement fall to be heard or determined by that 
local valuation court or county court, and the matter shall be referred 
to arbitration accordingly. 

(2) The Arbitration Acts, 1889 to 1934, shall apply to any such 
arbitration. 

[§§ 5 i ~*73 (provisions regarding rates, inspection, etc.) and Part IV (valua- 
tion of dwelling houses) omitted.] 



Local Government Act , igp8 


127 


Part V 

Rating of Transport and Electricity Authorities 

General 

85 . — (1) Save as is otherwise provided in this Part of this Act, no 
premises which are or form part of either — 

(a) a railway or canal hereditament (as defined for the purposes of 
this Part of this Act) ; or 

(b) a hereditament occupied by the British Electricity Authority, an Area 
Electricity Board or the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board, 

shall be liable to be rated or be included in any valuation list or in 
any rate, and the British Transport Commission, the British Electricity 
Authority and the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board shall, in 
the*year 1948-49 and all subsequent years, make such payments for 
the benefit of local authorities as are provided for by the subsequent 
provisions of this Part of this Act in lieu of the rates which would, 
apart from the provisions of this Part of this Act, be payable to rating 
authorities in respect of those hereditaments. . . . 

[§§ 93 ~ 99 ‘ Provisions by which the amounts of payments are to be calculated 
and adjusted.] 

• 

100 . — (1) The sums falling to be paid under the preceding provisions 
of this Part of this Act for the benefit of local authorities in England 
and Wales shall be paid to the Minister, and the sums falling to be 
p£id under the said provisions for jhe benefit? of local authorities in 
Scotland shall be paid to the Secretary of State. 

(2) The sums so paid to the Minister for any year shall, subject to 
the provisions of this Part of this Act relating to liabilities of the Rail- 
way Assessment Authority’ and the Anglo-Scottish Railways Assess- 
ment Authority, be distributed by him, at such times as he may 
determine, in the manner following, that is to say — 

(a) the sums shall first be allocated among the rating authorities in 
England and Wales in proportion to the rateable values for their 
respective areas for that year; 

(b) in the case of the council of a county borough, the amount so 
allocated to that council shall be paid to that council; 

(c) in the case of any other rating authority, the amount so allocated 

to that authority shall be paid as to one-third thereof to that 
authority and as to two-thirds thereof to the council of the county 
of which the area of that authority forms part. • 

(3) The sums so paid to the Secretary of State for any year shall b£ 
distributed by him Recording to their respective rateable valuations 
among the rating authorities — 



128 


Statutes 


(a) throughout Scotland; 

(fi) in that part of Scotland which is not included in the North of 
Scotland District; and 
(c) in the said District, 

according as the said sums represent sums paid to the Secretary of 
State by the British Transport Commission, the British Electricity 
Authority and the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board. 

[§§ 101-148 and two schedules omitted.] 


NATIONAL ASSISTANCE ACT, 1948 
11 and 12 Geo. 6, c. 29 

Part I 

Introductory 

1. The existing poor law shall cease to have effect, and shall be 
replaced by the provisions of Part II of this Act as to the rendering, 
out of moneys provided by Parliament, of assistance to persons in 
need, the provisions of Part III of this Act as to accommodation and 
other services to be provided by local authorities, and the related 
provisions of Part IV of this Act. 

r 

Part II 

NATIONAL ASSISTANCE 

The National Assistance Board 

2 . — (1) The Assistance Board shall be known as the National 
Assistance Board, and in addition to the functions for the time being 
exercisable under any other enactment shall exercise the functions con- 
ferred on them by the following provisions of this Act. 

(2) The National Assistance Board (hereafter in this Act referred 
to as “the Board 55 ) shall exercise their functions in such manner as 
shall best promote the welfare of persons affected by the exercise 
thereof. 

(3) For the purpose of securing the prompt discharge of their func- 
tions under this Act, the Board shall by regulations provide for the 
local administration of their said functions, and in particular, but sub- 
ject to any arrangements for the discharge thereof by officers of 
another Government department or of a local authority, for the dis- 
charge by local officers of the Bpard of the functions of the Board in 



National Assistance Act , ip4<9 129 

relation to applications for assistance and the decision of all questions 
arising thereon. 

(4) Annual reports on the activities of the Board shall be made by the 
Board to the Minister of National Insurance, and the said Minister shall 
lay each report of the Board under this subsection before Parliament. 

(5) The constitution and proceedings of the Board shall continue to 
be governed by the provisions set out in the First Schedule to this Act, 
being the provisions in that behalf of the Unemployment Assistance 
Act, 1934. 

3 . — (1) For the purpose of securing that full use is made of the 
advice and assistance, both on general questions and on difficult indi- 
vidual cases, of persons having local knowledge and experience in mat- 
ters affecting the functions of the Board, the Board shall arrange for 
the establishment of advisory committees throughout Great Britain 
to $ct for such areas as the Board think fit. 

(2) The Board shall pay to members of advisory committees 
appointed by the Board such travelling and other allowances (includ- 
ing compensation for loss of remunerative time) as the Board, after 
consultation with the Minister of National Insurance and with the 
consent of the Treasury, may determine. 


Giving cf Assistance by Board 

4 . It shall be the duty of the Board in accordance with the following 
provisions of this Part of this Ac: to assist persons in Great Britain who 
are without resources to meet theii; requirements, or whose resources 
(including benefits receivable under the National Insurance Acts, 
1946) must be supplemented in order to meet rheir requirements. 

5 . — (1) The question whether a person is in need of assistance, and 
the nature and extent of any assistance to be given to him, shall, 
subject to the provisions of this Act as to appeals, be decided by the 
Board. 

(2) The Minister of National Insurance shall in accordance with the 
provisions of the next following section make regulations as to the 
computation of requirements and resources for the purposes of this 
Part of this Act and as to the decision of any such question as afore- 
said, and the Board shall give effect to the relevant provisions of the 
regulations. 

(3) Regulations under this section may make different provision for 
different classes of cases, and in particular shall make special provision 
for blind persons and persons who have suffered a loss of ificome in 
order to undergo treatment for tuberculosis of the respiratory system. 

(4) Regulations under this section shall include provision fq£ 
securing that the rujes as to disregarding certain assets set out in the 
Second Schedule to this Act shall be observed in computing resources. 



Statutes 


130 

6. — ( 1 ) The Board shall as soon as may be after the passing of this Act, 
and thereafter from time to time as occasion may require, prepare and 
submit to the Minister of National Insurance (in this section referred to 
as “the Minister 53 ) draft regulations under the last foregoing section. 

(2) The Minister shall consider any draft submitted to him under 
the last foregoing subsection and shall make draft regulations either 
in the form of the draft as submitted or with such variations and 
amendments as he thinks fit. 

(3) Where the Minister makes any draft regulations otherwise than 
in the form of the draft submitted to him, then before making the draft 
regulations he shall inform the Board of the variations and amend- 
ments which he intends to make, the Board shall report to him thereon, 
and he shall consider the report. 

(4) Any draft regulations made by the Minister under this section 
shall be laid before Parliament as soon as may be after they are m^de, 
and, if the draft regulations so laid are made otherwise than in the 
form submitted to the Minister, there shall also be laid before Parlia- 
ment a statement of the Minister’s reasons for, and a copy of the report 
of the Board on, the variations and amendments made by him. 

(5) If each House resolves that draft regulations made by the 
Minister under this section be approved, the Minister shall in the 
terms of the draft make regulations under the last foregqing section to 
take effect on such date as may be specified in the regulations. 

[§§ 7 ” I 3 - Details of assistance, disqualifications, etc.] 

14 . — (1) Where a person applying for, or in receipt of, assistance, is 
aggrieved by a decision of the Board ... he may appeal to the Appeal 
Tribunal. . . . 

(4) On an appeal under this section the Appeal Tribunal may confirm 
the decision of the Board appealed against or substitute therefore any 
decision which the Board could have made under this Part of this Act, 
and any decision of the Tribunal shall be conclusive for all purposes. . . . 

[§15. Supplementary provisions for assistance.] 

[§§ 16-20. Re-establishment and reception centres.] 


Part III 

LOCAL AUTHORITY SERVICES 

Provision of Accommodation 

21 . — (1) It shall be the duty of every local authority, subject to and 
in accordance with the provisions of this Part of this Act, to provide — 

£a) residential accommodation for persons who by reason of age, 
infirmity or any other circumstances are ip. need of care and 
attention which is not otherwise available to them; 



National Assistance Act, 1948 13 1 

(b) temporary accommodation for persons who are in urgent need 
thereof, being need arising in circumstances which could not rea- 
sonably have been foreseen or in such other circumstances as the 
authority may in any particular case determine. 

(2) In the exercise of their said duty a local authority shall have 
regard to the welfare of all persons for whom accommodation is pro- 
vided, and in particular to the need for providing accommodation of 
different descriptions suited to different descriptions of such persons 
as are mentioned in the last foregoing subsection. 

(3) A local authority shall exercise their functions under this section 
in accordance with a scheme made thereunder. 

(4) Accommodation provided by a local authority in the exercise 
of their said functions shall be provided in premises managed by the 
authority or, to such extent as may be specified in the scheme under 
thia section, in such premises managed by another local authority as 
may be agreed between the two authorities and on such terms, includ- 
ing terms as to the reimbursement of expenditure incurred by the said 
other authority, as may be so agreed. . * . 

[§§ 22-23. Charges for accommodation and management of premises.] 

24 . — (1) The local authority liable under this Part of this Act to 
provide residential accommodation for any person shall subject to the 
following provisions of this Part of this Act be the authority in whose 
area the person is ordinarily resident. 

(2) The local authority liable under this Part of this Act to provide 
temporary accommodation for any person sh^ll be the authority in 
whose area the person is. 

(3) Where a person in the area of a local authority — 

(a) is a person with no settled residence, or 

(b) not being ordinarily resident in the area of the local authority, is in 
urgent need of residential accommodation under this Part of this Act, 

the authority shall have the like duty to provide residential accommo- 
dation for him as if he were ordinarily resident in their area. . . . 

25 . — (1) Where the Board are satisfied that a person in the area of a 
local authority is in urgent need of accommodation under this Part of 
this Act, the Board may require the local authority to provide such 
accommodation for him. . . . 

(3) Where a local authority are aggrieved by any requirement made 
by the Board under subsection (1) of this section, the authority may, 
but without prejudice to their duty to comply with the requirement in 
the meanwhile^ appeal to the Appeal Tribunal, and on any su 5 h appeal 
the Tribunal may cancel or confirm the requirement of the Board. 

[§ 26. Premises mair^ained by voluntary organisations.] 

[§27. Investigation of applicants’ resources.] 



Statutes 


132 

28 . — (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, the Minister shall 
make annual contributions to local authorities in respect of premises 
provided by them for the purposes of the foregoing provisions of this 
Part of this Act, being premises provided in accordance with proposals 
approved by the Minister and used in accordance with any conditions 
subject to which the proposals were approved. . . . 

[§ 29. Welfare arrangements for blind, deaf, dumb and crippled persons, 
etc.] 

[§§ 30-31. Voluntary organisations for the disabled, and old people’s 
organisations.] 

[§32. Financial adjustments between local authorities.] 

[§33. Definition of local authorities.] 

34 . — (1) The following provisions of this section shall have effect as 
to schemes made under section twenty-one or twenty-nine of this Act. 

(2) Subject to the provisions of this section, any such scheme shall 
be made by the local authority and submitted to the Minister, and 
shall come into force when approved by him. 

(3) Not later than the date r on which any such scheme is submitted 
to the Minister by the council of a county, that council shall send a 
copy of the scheme — 

(a) in the case of London to the Common Council qf the City of 

London and to the council of each metropolitan borough; 

(b) in the case of any other county, to the council of each county 

district in the county; 

f 

and the Minister before approving the scheme shall take into con- 
sideration any representations by any such council as is referred to in 
paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection made with respect to the 
scheme within one month from the date on which it was submitted 
to the Minister. 

(4) The Minister may approve any such scheme submitted to him 
either in the form in which it is submitted or with such modifications 
as he thinks fit. 

(5) Any scheme under either of the said sections may be varied or 
revoked by a subsequent scheme thereunder, and the provisions of the 
three last foregoing subsections shall apply to such a varying or 
revoking scheme. 

(6) Where in the case of any local authority no scheme is for the 
time being in force for the exercise of their functions under section 
twenty-one of this Act, or for the exercise of any powers under section 
twenty-nine of this Act which the authority are under a duty to 
exercise, the Minister may require the authority, within such time as 
^ie may specify, to submit such a scheme to him for his approval, and 
if the authority — 



^33 


National Assistance Act , 194 # 

{a) fail to comply with the requirement, or 
( b ) submit a scheme which appears to the Minister not proper to be 
approved by him either as submitted or with modifications, 

the Minister may himself make a scheme for the exercise of the said 
functions or powers by the local authority. 

(7) Where it appears to the Minister that by reason of a change of 
circumstances it is expedient that any scheme for the exercise by a 
local authority of their functions under section twenty-one or twenty- 
nine of this Act should be varied, the Minister may require the 
authority, within such time as he may specify, to submit to him for 
his approval a scheme for varying the first-mentioned scheme in such 
respects as may be specified in the requirement, and if the local 
authority fail to comply with the requirement the Minister may 
himself make the varying scheme. 

(8) This section shall have effect in its application to Scotland as if 
for subsection (3) the following subsection were substituted: 

“(3 ) Not later than the date on which any scheme made under section 
twenty-one of this Act is submitted to the Minister by the council of 
a county, the council shall send a copy of the scheme to the town 
council of each small burgh in the county and the Minister before 
approving the scheme shall take into consideration any representa- 
tions by any such town council made with respect to the scheme 
within one month from the date on which it was submitted to the 
Minister.” 

35 . — (1) For the purposes of thi» Part cf tfiis Act the expression 
“the Minister” means the Minister of Health as inspects England and 
Wales, and the Secretary of State as respects Scotland. 

(2) Subject to the provisions of schemes under this Part of this Act, 
local authorities shall exercise their functions under this Part of this 
Act (including any discretion conferred on them thereunder) under 
the general guidance of the Minister, and in accordance with the 
provisions of any regulations of the Minister made for the purposes of 
this sub-section. 

(3) Without prejudice to the generality of the last foregoing sub- 
section, regulations thereunder — 

(a) may provide for conferring on officers of the Minister authorised 
under the regulations such powers of inspection as may be pre- 
scribed in relation to the exercise of functions under this Part of 
this Act by or by arrangement with or on behalf of local authorities; 

(b) may prescribe requirements as to the provision to be made in 
rules for the conduct of, and preservation of order in, premises in 
which accommodation is provided under this Part of this Act by 
local authorities; 



Statutes 


134 

(c) may make provision with respect to the qualifications of officers 
employed by local authorities for the purposes of this Part of this 
Act or by voluntary organisations acting under arrangements with 
or on behalf of local authorities for those purposes. 

36 . — (1) Where the Minister is of opinion, whether on representa- 
tions made to him or otherwise, that a local authority have failed to 
discharge any of their functions under this Part of this Act, or have in 
the discharge thereof failed to comply with any regulations relating 
thereto, he may after such inquiry as he may think fit make an order 
declaring the authority to be in default. 

(2) An order under the last foregoing subsection shall direct the 
authority, for the purpose of remedying the default, to discharge such 
of their functions, in such manner and within such time or times, as 
may be specified in the order; and if the authority fail to comply with 
any direction given under this subsection within the time specified in 
the order, then without prejudice to any other means of enforcing the 
order the Minister may make an order transferring to himself such 
of the functions of the authority as he thinks fit. 

(3) Any expenses certified by the Minister to have been incurred by 

him in discharging functions transferred to him under this section shall 
on demand be paid to him by the authority from which the functions 
were transferred. r 

(4) An authority shall have the like power of raising money required 
for paying expenses certified by the Minister as aforesaid as they have 
of raising money for paying expenses incurred directly by them, and 
the payment of any r expenses certified as aforesaid shall, to such 
extent as may be sanctioned by the Minister, be a purpose for which 
the authority may borrow money in accordance with the statutory 
provisions relating to borrowing by that authority. 

(5) An order under this section may contain such incidental or sup- 
plemental provisions as appear to the Minister to be necessary or 
expedient, including provision for the transfer to the Minister of 
property and liabilities of the authority in default. 

(6) Where any such order is varied or revoked by a subsequent 
order, the revoking order or a subsequent order may make provision 
for the re-transfer to the authority in default of any property or 
liabilities transferred from that authority to the Minister under the 
first-mentioned order and for the transfer to that authority of any 
property or liabilities acquired or incurred by the Minister in discharg- 
ing any of the functions transferred to him. 

[Part IV (General and Supplementary) and seven schedules omitted.] 



Representation of the People Act, 1948 


T S5 


REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE ACT, 1948 
11 and 12 Geo. 6, c. 65 

Part I 

Parliamentary Franchise and Its Exercise 

Parliamentary Franchise and Distribution of Seats 

1 * ( I ) Subject to any Order in Council hereafter made under the 

House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Act, 1944, there shall for 
the purpose of parliamentary elections be the county and borough con- 
stituencies, each returning a single member, which are described in the 
First Schedule to this Act, and no other constituencies. 1 

(2) The persons entitled to vote as electors at a parliamentary 
election in any constituency shall be those resident there on the 
qualifying date who, on that date and on the date of the poll, are 
British subjects of full age and not subject to any legal incapacity to 
vote: 

Provided that a person shall not be entitled to vote as an elector in 
any constituency unless registered there in the register of parliamentary 
electors to be used at the election nor, at a general election, to vote as 
an elector in more than one constituency. 

(3) The qualifying date for parliamentary elections shall be deter- 
mined by reference to the date fixed for the poll as follows: — 

(a) in Great Britain — 

(i) where the date fixed for the poll is between the fifteenth day 
of March and the second day of October in any year, the qualifying 
date shall be, in England and Wales, the twentieth day of the pre- 
ceding November and, in Scotland, the first day of the preceding 
December ; 

(ii) where the date fixed for the poll is between the first day of 
October in any year and the sixteenth day of the following March, 
the qualifying date shall in all parts of Great Britain be the fifteenth 
day of the preceding June; 

(b) in Northern Ireland (subject to the following provisions of this 
Act)— 

(i) where the date fixed for the poll is between the firs? day of 
April and the second day of October in any year, the qualify- 
ing date shall be the thirty-first day of October in the preceding 
year; 

y No university constituencies are included. 



Statutes 


136 

(ii) where the date fixed for the poll is between the first day 
of October in any year and the second day of the following 
April, the qualifying date shall be the thirtieth day of the preceding 
April. 

[§ 2. Questions of residence to be determined according to the general 
principles of the Representation of the People Act, 1918.] 

[§ 3. Amendments to the House of Commons (Redistribution of Seats) Acts 
of 1944 and 1947, and to the Representation of the People Act, 1945.] 

[§ 4. Electoral registration officers.] 

[§ 5. Duty of registration officers to prepare a spring and autumn register 
each year.] 

6 . — (1) The following persons shall have a service qualification for 
the purpose of this Act, namely, — 

{a) any person who is a member of the forces; r 

(b) any person who is employed in the service of the Crown in a post 
outside the United Kingdom of any prescribed class or description; 

(c) any woman who is the wife of a person having a service qualifica- 
tion and is residing outside the United Kingdom to be with her 
husband. . . . 

(2) A service declaration shall be made only by a person who has 
a service qualification or, subject to any prescribed conditions, by a 
person about to leave the United Kingdom in such circumstances as 
to acquire a service qualification. 

(3) A service declaration may be made by such a person notwith- 
standing the fact that by reason 'of his age he is not yet entitled to be 
registered or to vote. . . . 

(5) A person whose service declaration is in force on the qualifying 
date — 

(1 a ) shall be treated for the purposes of registration as resident at the 
address specified in the declaration. . . . 

[§ 7. Polling districts and polling places.] 

8. — (1) All persons voting as electors at a parliamentary election 
shall do so in person at the polling station allotted to them under the 
Ballot Act, 1872, except in so far as this section makes exceptions for — 

(a) those registered as service voters ; 

(b) those unable or likely to be unable to go in person to the polling 
station for one of the following reasons: — 

(i) the general nature of the occupation, service or employment 
of the person in question; 

(ii) that person’s service as a member of* any of His Majesty’s 
reserve or auxiliary forces; * 



Representation of the People Act, igpS 137 

(iii) the particular circumstances of that person’s employment on 
the date of the poll either as a constable or, for a purpose connected 
with the election, by the returning officer; 

(iv) at a general election, the candidature in some other consti- 
tuency of that person or that person’s wife or husband ; 

(v) at a general election, the fact that that person is acting as 
returning officer for some other constituency; 

(vi) at a general election, the particular circumstances of that 
person’s employment on the date of the poll by the returning officer 
for some other constituency for a purpose connected with the 
election in that constituency; 

(c) those unable or likely to be unable, by reason either of blindness 
or any other physical incapacity, to go in person to the polling 
station or, if able to go, to vote unaided; 

(d) those unable or likely to be unable to go in person from their 
qualifying address to the polling station without making a journey 
by air or sea; 

(1?) those no longer residing at their quahfying address. 

(2) A person registered as a service voter may vote by proxy unless 
either — 

(a) he is entitled in pursuance of an application made under subsection 
(4) of this section to vote by post; or 

(b) he applies for a ballot paper to vote in person before a ballot paper 
has been issued for him to vote by proxy; 

but (where there is in force an appointment of a proxy to vote for 
him) shall not be entitled to vote in person unless he does so apply. 

(3) A person not registered as a service voter if unable or likely to 
be unable to go in person to the polling station by reason either — 

(a) of the general nature of his occupation, service or employment: or 

(b) of his service as a member of any of His Majesty’s reserve or 
auxiliary forces; 

may vote by proxy if he applies to be treated as an absent voter and is 
likely to be at sea or out of the United Kingdom on the date of the 
poll. 

(4) Any of the persons mentioned in paragraphs (a) to ( e ) of sub- 
section (1) of this section may vote by post if he applies to be treated 
as an absent voter and furnishes an address in the United Kingdom 
to which a ballot paper is to be sent for the purpose: 

Provided that — 

(a) a person shall not be entitled to vote by post if he is not registered 
as a service voter 3jid there is in force an appointment of a proxy 
to vote for him; and 



1 38 Statutes 

(b) a person shall not be entitled to vote by post on the ground that 
he no longer resides at his qualifying address if at the time of his 
application he resides at an address in the same area ; and 

(c) a person registered as a service voter shall not be entitled to vote 
by post on any ground other than his being so registered. 

(5) At an election for which a person’s application to be treated as 
an absent voter is allowed, he shall not be entitled to vote in person. . . . 

[§ 9. Applications to be treated as an absent voter to be made to the regis- 
tration officer. 

[§§ 10— 1 1 . Voting by proxy.] 

[§ 12. Timetable and procedure to be as laid down in the schedules to this 
Act.] 

[§13, Register to be conclusive on residence, etc.] 

14 . — (1) Where, after the counting of the votes by the returning 
officer (including any re-count) is completed, an equality of votes is 
found to exist between any candidates at a parliamentary election in 
any constituency, and the addition of a vote would entitle any of those 
candidates to be declared elected, the returning officer shall not be 
entitled to a casting vote but shall forthwith decide between those 
candidates by lot, and proceed as if the candidate on whom the lot 
falls had received an additional vote. . . . 

[§ 15. Deposits.] 

[§§ 16—18. Returning officers and their duties.] 

[§§ 19-20. Infringements of secrecy and tampering with postal votes by 
those present at the counting of vot^s.] 

Part II 

General Provisions as to Local Government Franchise and Its Exercise 
Local Government Franchise 

21 . — (1) The persons entitled to vote as electors at a local govern- 
ment election in any electoral area shall be those who — 

(a) on the qualifying date either — 

(i) are resident in the area; or 

(ii) under the following provisions of this section have a non- 
resident qualification therein; and 

(b) are in either case on that date and on the date of the poll, British 
subjects of full age and not subject to any legal incapacity to vote: 

Provided that a person shall not be entitled to vote as an elector in 
any electoral area, unless registered there ip the register of local 
government electors to be us«-d at the election nor, at an ordinary 



Representation of the People Act, igp 8 139 

election for any local government area which is not a single electoral 
area, to vote as an elector in more than one electoral area. 

(2) In England and Wales, a person shall be deemed for the pur- 
poses of this section to have a non-resident qualification in an area if 
he is occupying as owner or tenant any rateable land or premises 
therein of the yearly value of not less than ten pounds. 

(3) In Scotland, a person shall be deemed to have a non-resident 
qualification in an area if he is the owner, or occupier as tenant, of 
any lands and heritages within the area which are of the yearly value 
of not less than ten pounds and in respect of which rates are payable. 

(4) The qualifying date for a local government election shall be 
determined by reference to the date fixed for the poll in the same way 
as if it were a parliamentary election. 

[§22. Definitions of residence, occupation, etc.] 

23. — (1) It shall be the duty of a registration officer to prepare for 
the local government areas or parts of local government areas included 
in the area for which he acts a register # of local government electors 
whenever he prepares a register of parliamentary electors. 

(2) The two registers shall so far as practicable be combined, the 
names of persons registered only as local government electors being 
marked to indicate that fact. 

(3) The elections for which any register of local government electors 

is to be used shall be determined by reference to the date fixed for the 
poll in the same way as in the case of the register of parliamentary 
electors. • 

(4) Subject to any enactment imposing any disqualification for 
registration as a local government elector, all persons who may be 
entitled to vote as electors at elections for which any register is to be 
used shall be entitled to be registered therein: 

Provided that — 

[a) a person shall not be entitled to be registered more than once in 
any local government area; and 

{b) a person who on the qualifying date has a service qualification 
shall not be entitled to be registered as resident in any local gov- 
ernment area, except in pursuance of a service declaration such as is 
mentioned in the next following subsection and in force on that date. 

(5) The service declaration in pursuance of which a person having 

a service qualification may be registered as a local government elector 
shall — ^ 

(a) except in the case of a person who is as a peer subject to a legal 
incapacity to vote at parliamentary elecdons, be the service 
declaration (if any ^ made by him for the purpose of parliamentary 
elections; and 



Statutes 


140 

(b) in the case of such a person as aforesaid, be a declaration marked 
to show that it is available for local government elections only, but 
in all other respects the same as other service declarations. 

(6) A person entitled as a resident to be registered as a local govern- 
ment elector in any local government area shall not be entitled to be 
so registered as a non-resident. 

(7) Subsections (3) and (5) of section five and section six of this Act 
shall apply for the purposes of this Part thereof as they apply for the 
purposes of Part I thereof. 

[§§ 24-27. Place and manner of voting.] 

[§28. Amendments to local elections rules, to bring them into conformity 
with those for parliamentary elections.] 

[§29. Effects of the register, etc.] 

[§ 30. Tampering with postal votes and breaches of duty by electoral 
officers.] 

Part III 

Corrupt and Illegal Practices and Other Provisions as to Election Campaign 
Parliamentary Elections 

32 , — (1) Parts III and IV of the First Schedule to the parliamentary 
corrupt practices Act (which limit the amount of election expenses) 
shall cease to have effect, and for any reference in that Act to the 
maximum amount specified in the said Part IV (which deals with the 
aggregate amount of the permitted expenses) there shall be substituted 
a reference to the following maximum amount, namely — 

{a) in relation to an election in a county constituency, four hundred 
and fifty pounds together with an additional twopence for each 
entry in the register of parliamentary electors to be used at the 
election ; 

(b) in relation to an election in a borough constituency, four hundred 
and fifty pounds together with an additional penny halfpenny for 
each such entry as aforesaid: 

Provided that, if the said register is not published before the day of 
publication of the notice of election, then for any reference in this sub- 
section to an entry in the register there shall be substituted a reference 
to an entry in the electors lists therefor as first published which gives 
the name of a person appearing from those lists to be entitled to be 
registered. 

(2) The said maximum amount shall not be required to cover the 
candidate’s personal expenses as defined in the said Act, but shall 
- cover the whole of any fee paid to the candidate’s election agent. . . . 
(6) In Northern Ireland paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) 
and subsection (2) of this section shall not apply and — 



Representation of the People Act , 1948 141 

(a) the maximum amount referred to in the said subsection (1) shall 
(subject to the proviso to that subsection) be the same as at the 
passing of this Act, namely, twopence for each entry in the register 
of parliamentary electors to be used at the election ; and 

(b) the said maximum amount shall not be required to cover either 
the candidate’s personal expenses as defined in the said Act or (to 
an amount not exceeding in the case of an election in a county 
constituency seventy-five pounds and in the case of an election in 
a borough constituency fifty pounds) the fee, if any, paid to his 
election agent. 

(7) This section shall apply for the purposes of the first general 
election after the passing of this Act and any subsequent election. 

33 . — (1) Subject to the provisions of this section, a person shall not, 
with a view to supporting or opposing the candidature of any indi- 
vidual as against any other or others at a parliamentary election, either 
let, lend or employ, or hire, borrow or use, any motor vehicle for the 
purpose of the conveyance of electors or their proxies to or from the 
poll, and a person knowingly acting in contravention of this subsection 
shall be guilty of an illegal practice within the meaning of the parlia- 
mentary corrupt practices Act: 

Provided that — 

[a) the court teefore whom a person is convicted under this subsection 
may, if they think it just in the special circumstances of the case, 
mitigate or entirely remit any incapacity imposed by section ten 
of the said Act; and 

(b) a candidate shall not be liable, nor shall Ins election be avoided, 
for an illegal practice under this subsection committed without his 
consent or connivance by an agent other than his election agent. 

(2) Where it is shown — 

(, a ) that a motor vehicle was employed for the purpose aforesaid; and 
(b) that at the time when it was so employed there was to the know- 
ledge of any person employing or using it for that purpose displayed 
on it or on a trailer drawn by it any placard, colours or other thing 
indicating a preference for or against any candidate at the election; 

it shall be presumed until the contrary is shown that that person was 
so employing or using it with a view to supporting or opposing the 
candidature of some individual as against some other or others. 

(3) Nothing in this section shall — 

(a) render unlawful anything made lawful by subsection (3) of section 
fourteen of the parliamentary corrupt practices Act (which relates 
to the use of vehicles by electors at their joint cost) ; or 
(&) prevent any person employing a motor vehicle for the purpose of 
conveying to or fr%m the poll hin^elf or any member of the same 

Lbg 



142 


Statutes 


household, or borrowing a motor vehicle from a member of the 
same household to be employed for that purpose; or 

(c) prevent a candidate at an election or some person on his behalf 
employing a motor vehicle for the purpose of conveying any person 
to or from the poll, if the conditions hereafter mentioned in this 
section are complied with, or borrowing a motor vehicle to be 
employed for that purpose from any person; or 

(d) prevent a person lending or using a motor vehicle in a case in 
which it is lawfully borrowed or employed by virtue of either of 
of the last two foregoing paragraphs. 

(4) The conditions under which a motor vehicle may be employed 
under the said paragraph (r) by or on behalf of a candidate are the 
following : — 

{a) the motor vehicle shall be registered in the prescribed manner- with 
the returning officer, and there shall be prominently displayed 
thereon a placard indicating that it is so registered; 

(b) the number of motor vehicles so employed shall not exceed in a 
county constituency one for every fifteen hundred electors or in a 
borough constituency one for every twenty-five hundred 
electors. . . . 

[§ 34. Free postage for candidate’s electoral address.] 

[§ 35 - Candidates to have the right to use certain schools and halls for 
election meetings.] 

[§ 36. Use of committee rooms in schools.] 

37 . — (1) No person shall, with intent to influence persons to give or 
refrain from giving their votes at a parliamentary election, use, or aid, 
abet, counsel, or procure the use of, any wireless transmitting station 
outside the United Kingdom for the transmission of any matter having 
reference to the election otherwise than in pursuance of arrangements 
made with the British Broadcasting Corporation for it to be received 
and transmitted by that Corporation. 

(2) No person shall for the purpose of promoting or procuring the 
election of any candidate at a parliamentary election issue any poll 
card or document so closely resembling an official poll card as to be 
calculated to deceive. 

(3) Any offence under this section shall be an illegal practice within 
the meaning of the parliamentary corrupt practices Act: 

Provided that the court before whom a person is convicted of an 
offencemnder this section may, if they think it just in the special cir- 
cumstances of the case, mitigate or entirely remit any incapacity 
imposed by section ten of that Act. 

(4) Where any act or omission of an association or body of persons, 
corporate or unincorporated, ia an illegal practice under this section, 



Representation of the People Act, igp 8 143 

any person who at the time of the act or omission was a director, 
general manager, secretary or other similar officer of the association 
or body, or was purporting to act in any such capacity, shall be 
deemed to be guilty of the illegal practice, unless he proves that the 
act or omission took place without his consent or connivance and that 
he exercised all such diligence to prevent the commission of the illegal 
practice as he ought to have exercised having regard to the nature of 
his functions in that capacity and to all the circumstances. 

[§§ 38“4 0 * Extensions and amendments to local corrupt practices Act.] 
[§41. Candidates not liable for rates on premises used for election meetings.] 

42 . — (1) No expenses shall, with a view to promoting or procuring 
the election of a candidate at a parliamentary or local government 
election, be incurred by any person other than the candidate, his elec- 
tion agent and persons authorised in writing by the election agent on 
account — 

(a) of holding public meetings or organising any public display; or 

(b) of issuing advertisements, circulars or publications ; or 

(c) of otherwise presenting to the electors the candidate or his views 
or the extent or nature of his backing or disparaging another 
candidate : 

Provided that paragraph (c) of this subsection shall not — 

(i) restrict the publication of any matter relating to the election in 
a newspaper or other periodical: or 

(ii) apply to any expense- noi g exceeding in the aggregate the 
sum of ten shillings which may he incurred by an individual and 
are not incurred in pursuance of a plan suggested by or concerted 
with others, or to expenses incurred by any person in travelling or 
in living away from home or similar personal expenses. . . . 

[§§ 43“56* Miscellaneous amendments to election expenses; penalties for 
corruption; powers of the courts to restrain false statements; periods of inca- 
pacity for corrupt and illegal practices, etc.] 

[Parts IV and V {§§ 57-65) contain special provisions for local government 
elections in England and Wales, and Scotland.] 

[Part VI (§§ 66-80) contains supplemental provisions as to registration, 
etc. Short title in § 81. Thirteen schedules.] 



144 


Statutes 


GAS ACT, 1948 
11 and 12 Geo. 6, c. 67 

Part I 

Area Gas Boards and the Gas Council 

1. — (i) There shall be established Boards ... in this Act referred 
to as “Area Boards 55 , for the areas which are described in general 
terms in [the first Schedule]. . . . 

(2) Every Area Board shall have power to carry on all such activities 
as it may appear to the Board to be requisite, advantageous or con- 
venient for them to carry on for or in connection with the discharge 
of their duties. . . . 

2. — (1) There shall be established a Council, to be known a^ the 
Gas Council, and it shall be the duty of that Council — 

(a) to advise the Minister on ^questions affecting the gas industry and 
matters relating thereto; and 

(b) to promote and assist the efficient exercise and performance by 
Area Boards of their functions. 

(2) The Gas Council shall have power, if so authorised by all the 
Area Boards or a group of Area Boards, to perform services for, or act 
on behalf of, the Boards concerned in relation to matters of common 
interest to those Boards. . . . 

r 

[§ 3. Research.] * 

[§ 4. Training and education.] 

[§ 5. Constitution of Area Boards and the Gas Council.] 

[§ 6. Minister’s power to define and vary areas for which Boards are estab- 
lished.] 

7. — (1) The Minister may give to Area Boards generally or to a 
particular Area Board or to the Gas Council such directions of a 
general character as to the exercise and performance ... of their 
functions as appear to the Minister to be requisite in the national 
interest, and they shall give effect to any such directions: 

* Provided that — 

(a) before giving any such direction, the Minister shall consult with 
the Gas Council; and 

(b) before giving any such direction to a particular Area Board, the 
Minister shall consult with that Board. . . . 

„ 9* — (1) A Council, to be known as a Gas Consultative Council, shall 

... be established for the purposes mentioned jm this section for the 
areajof every Area Board. e 



Gas Ad, 1948 1 45 

( 2 ) A Gas Consultative Council shall consist of a chairman appointed 
by the Minister and not less than twenty nor more than thirty other 
members appointed by the Minister. . . . 

( 4 ) The Gas Consultative Council for each area shall be charged 
with the duties — 

(a) of considering any matter affecting the supply of gas in the area . . . 

(b) of considering and reporting to the Area Board on any such matter 
which may be referred to them by that Board. . . . 

10. — ( 1 ) Every Area Board and the Gas Council shall, as soon as 
possible after the end of each financial year, make to the Minister a 
report on the exercise and performance by them of their functions 
during that year and on their policy and programmes, and every Area 
Board shall, as soon as their report has been made to the Minister, 
send a copy thereof to the Gas Council. 

(ft) Every such report of any Area Board or of the Gas Council . . . 
shall set out any direction given by the Minister to the Board or 
Council during that year unless the Minister has notified the Board 
or Council of his opinion that it is ag*ainst the interests of national 
security to do so. . . . 

(5) The Minister shall lay before each House of Parliament a copy 
of the report made for each financial year by each Area Board and 
the Gas Couifcil, and shall at the same rime lay before each House of 
Parliament a report with respect to the exercise of his functions during 
that year under this Act except as regards matters which in his opinion 
it is against the interests of national security to disclose. 

[§§ II_ 77 anc l four Schedules omitted?] 


PARLIAMENT ACT, 1949 
12, 13 and 14 Geo. 6, c. 103 

An Act to amend the Parliament Act , 19 1/. 

\_16tk December 1949 .] 

1. The Parliament Act, 19 x 1 , shall have effect, and shall be deemed 
to have had effect from the beginning of the session in which the Bill 
for this Act originated (save as regards that Bill itself), as if — 

(< 3 ) there had been substituted in subsections ( 1 ) and (4) of section 
two thereof, for the words “in three successive sessions 55 , “for the 
third time 55 , “in the third of those sessions 55 , “in the third # session 55 , 
and “in the second or third session 55 respectively, the words “in 
two successive sessions 55 , “for the second time 55 , “in the second of 
those sessions 55 , “in the second session 55 , and “in the second session 55 
respectively; and* 



146 Statutes 

( b ) there had been substituted in subsection (1) of the said section 
two, for the words “two years have elapsed 55 the words “one year 
has elapsed 55 : 

Provided that, if a Bill has been rejected for the second time by the 
House of Lords before the signification of the Royal Assent to the 
Bill for this Act, whether such rejection was in the same session as 
that in which the Royal Assent to the Bill for this Act was signified or 
in an earlier session, the requirement of the said section two that a 
Bill is to be presented to His Majesty on its rejection for the second 
time by the House of Lords shall have effect in relation to the Bill 
rejected as a requirement that it is to be presented to His Majesty as 
soon as the Royal Assent to the Bill for this Act has been signified, 
and, notwithstanding that such rejection was in an earlier session, 
the Royal Assent to the Bill rejected may be signified in the 
session in which the Royal Assent to the Bill for this Act Avas 
signified. 

2 . — (1) This Act may be cited as the Parliament Act, 1949. 

(2) This Act and the Parliament Act, 1911, shall be construed as 
one and may be cited together as the Parliament Acts, 19 11 and 
1949, and accordingly subsection (1) of section four of the Parliament 
Act, 1 9 1 1 (which specifies the words of enactment to be inserted in a 
Bill presented to His Majesty under that Act) shall have effect with 
the substitution of the words “the Parliament Acts, 1911 and 1949 55 
for the words “the Parliament Act, 1911.” 


REGENCY ACT, 1953 
2 Eliz. 2 , c. 1 

Whereas Your Majesty, by Your Majesty’s Royal Message to both 
Houses of Parliament, has been pleased to recommend that Parliament 
should consider the expediency of providing that His Royal Highness 
the Duke of Edinburgh should be the Regent if a child of Your Majesty 
and His Royal Highness accedes to the Throne while under the age of 
eighteen years or if a Regency becomes necessary during the lifetime 
of Your Majesty while there is no child or grandchild of Your Majesty 
and His Royal Highness who can be the Regent, and also the expedi- 
ency of amending the law so that the heir apparent or heir presumptive 
to the Tyrone should be capable of being Regent if he or she has 
attained the age of eighteen years: 

And whereas Your Majesty by the same Message recommended 
that Parliament should consider the amendment of the Regency Acts, 
I937jand 1943, so as to add Her- Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen 



Regency Act, 1953 147 

Mother to the persons to whom, as Counsellors of State, royal functions 
can be delegated: 

Now, therefore, we, Your Majesty’s most dutiful and loyal subjects, 
the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present 
Parliament assembled, do most humbly beseech Your Majesty that it 
be enacted, and be it enacted by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, 
by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Tem- 
poral, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by 
the authority of the same, as follows: 

1. — (1) If a Regency becomes necessary under the Regency Act, 
I 937? on ^ ie succession to the Crown of a child of Her Majesty 7 and 
His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh while under the age of 
eighteen years, His Royal Highness, if living, shall be the Regent. 

(2) If a Regency becomes necessary under the Regency Act, 1937, 
during the reign of Her present Majesty, His Royal Highness the Duke 
of Edinburgh, if living, shall be the Regent unless, or (as the case may 
be) until, there is a child or grandchild of Her Majesty and His Royal 
Highness who can under the provisions €>f the said Act be the Regent. 

(3) The preceding provisions of this section shall have effect subject 
to — 

(a) subsection (2) of section three cf the Regency Act, 1 937 x which 
enumerates the disqualifications for becoming or being Regent), 
and 

(, b ) subsection (5) of that section .'which provides for the case where 
the Regent is incapacitated by infirmity for performing the royal 
functions or is not available for the pcvlhrmance of those functions), 

but, save as aforesaid, that section shah have effect subject to the 
preceding provisions of this section. 

(4) Where His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh is Regent 
by virtue of this section, section six of the Regency Act, 1937 (which 
relates to the appointment of Counsellors of State) shall have effect as 
if the following provision were substituted for subsection (4) thereof: 

“(4) The provisions of this section shall apply in relation to a Regent 
with the substitution for references to the Sovereign of references to 
the Regent and the omission, in subsection (2) thereof, of the 
reference to the wife or husband of the Sovereign.” 

2. The heir apparent or heir presumptive to the Throne shall be 

deemed for all the purposes of the Regency Act, 1937, to be of full age 
if he or she has attained the age of eighteen years. # 

1 “(2). A person shall be disqualified from becoming or being Regent, if he is not 
a British subject of full age and domiciled in some part of the United Kingdom, or 
is a person who would, under section two of the Act of Settlement, be incapable of ^ 
inheriting, possessing, aqd enjoying the Grown; and section three of die Act 01 
Settlement shall apply in me case of a Regen%as it applies in the case of a Sovereign. 



Statutes 


148 

3 . Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother shall be added 
to the persons whom subsection (2) of section six of the Regency Act, 
1 937 (as set out in section one of the Regency Act, 1943) 1 requires, 
subject as therein mentioned, to be the Counsellors of State for the 
purposes of any delegation of royal functions under that section, 
and accordingly during her life that section shall have effect as if a 
reference to her were inserted in subsection (2) thereof next after the 
reference to the wife or husband of the Sovereign. 

4 . — (1) This Act may be cited as the Regency Act, 1953, and shall 
be construed as one with the Regency Acts, 1937 and 1943, an d those 
Acts and this Act may be cited together as the Regency Acts, 1937 

to 1953. 

(2) In subsection (2 a) of section six of the Regency Act, 1937 (set 
out in section one of the Regency Act, 1943) the words “The heir 
apparent or heir presumptive to the Throne if not under the age of 
eighteen years shall not be disqualified from being a Counsellor of 
State by reason only of his not being of full age, but save as aforesaid 5 3 
(being words rendered unnecessary by section two of this Act) are 
hereby repealed. 

1 “ . . . the Counsellors of State shall be the wife or husband of the Sovereign (if the 
Sovereign is married), and the four persons who, excluding any person disqualified 
under this section, are next in the line of succession to the Crown, or if the number 
of such persons next in the line of succession is less than four, then all 5a ch persons . . 



SECTION II 


Parliament 




REFORM OF THE SECOND CHAMBER, 1918 

Letter from Viscount Bryce to the Prime Minister , reporting the conclusions of 
the Conference on the Reform of the Second Chamber ( Cd . gogS; igi8) 

Functions Appropriate to a Second Chamber 

6. (i) The examination and revision of Bills brought from the 
House of Commons, a function which has become more needed since, 
on many occasions, during the last 30 years, the House of Commons 
has been obliged to act under special rules limiting debate. 

(2) The initiation of Bills dealing with subjects of a comparatively 
non-controversial character which may have an easier passage through 
the House of Commons if they have been fully discussed and put into 
a well-considered shape before being submitted to it. 

(3) The interposition of so much delay (and no more) in the passing 
of a Bill into law as may be needed to erfable the opinion of the nation 
to be adequately expressed upon it. This would be specially needed as 
regards Bills which affect the fundamentals of the Constitution or 
introduce new principles of legislation, or which raise issues whereon 
the opinion oS the country may appear to be almost equally divided. 

(4) Full and free discussion of large and important questions, such 
as those of foreign policy, at moments when the House of Commons 
may happen to be so much occupied that it cannot find sufficient time 
for them. Such discussions may oft^n be all t?ie more useful if con- 
ducted in an Assembly whose debates and divisions do not involve 
the fate of the Executive Government. 

Elements that ought to find a Place in the Second Chamber 

7. (1) Persons of experience in various forms of public work, such 
as judicial work, Local Government work, Civil Service work, Par- 
liamentary work; persons possessing special knowledge of important 
departments of the national life, such as Agriculture, Commerce, 
Industry, Finance, Education, Naval and Military Affairs; and persons 
who possess a like knowledge of what are called Imperial Questions 
such as foreign affairs and matters affecting the Over-Seas Dominions. 

(2) Persons who, while likely to serve efficiently in a Second Cham- 
ber, may not have the physical vigour needed to bear the increasing 
strain which candidacy for a seat in the House of Commons, and 
service in it involve. 

(3) A certain proportion of persons who are not extreme partizans, 
but of a cast of mind which enables them to judge political questions 
with calmness and comparative freedom from prejudice or bias**. . . 



152 Parliament 

Position which the Second Chamber ought to hold . . . 

8. It was agreed that a Second Chamber ought not to have equal 
powers with the House of Commons, nor aim at becoming a rival of 
that assembly. In particular, it should not have the power of making 
or unmaking Ministeries [sic], or enjoy equal rights in dealing with 
finance. . . . 

All precautions that could be taken ought to be taken to secure 
that in a Reformed Second Chamber no one set of political opinions 
should be likely to have a marked and permanent predominance, and 
that the Chamber should be so composed as not to incur the charge of 
habitually acting under the influence of party motives. . . . 

It should . . . endeavour to enlighten and influence the people 
through its debates, and be recognised by the people as qualified, 
when a proper occasion arose, to require the reconsideration of 
important measures on which their opinion had not been fully ascer- 
tained. 

Composition qf the Second Chamber 

10. The principle of endeavouring to preserve some real measure of 
continuity between the House of Lords and the new Second Chamber, 
a principle accepted by all, though some members attached more 
importance to it than did others, suggested that a cerfain portion of 
the Chamber should be taken from the existing peerage, but the other 
principle that three important requisites for the strength of the Cham- 
ber would be found in its having popular authority behind it, in its 
opening to the whole *of His Majesty’s subjects free and equal access 
to the Chamber, and in its being made responsive to the thoughts and 
sentiments of the people, also prescribed that the large majority of the 
members should be so chosen as to enjoy that popular authority. . . . 

11. The Conference rejected the idea of having a chamber elected 
on the basis of a property qualification . . . [and] . . . proceeded to 
examine five methods that might be adopted for constituting that 
popular element in the Chamber which it had been agreed to make 
predominant. 

[The methods were: 

(i) Nomination by the Crown . It was thought unlikely that the country would 
favour this. 

(ii) Direct Election . This was rejected, principally because “it was forcibly 
urged that a Chamber elected on the same franchise . . . would inevitably 
become a rival of the House of Commons, and would, because it had an equal 
‘mandat from the people, be likely to claim equal financial powers, and tend 
to fall into conflict with that principle of the Constitution which assigns to the 
House of Commons the function of making and unmaking Administrations.” 

(iii) Election by Local Authorities . It was objected that this method “would 
certainly introduce party politics i*ito the elections of those County Councils 



Reform of the Second Chamber , igi 8 153 

and Borough Councils which had hitherto been conducted on non-party 
lines , . 

(iv) Selection by a Joint Standing Committee of Both Houses. It was felt that a 
“broader basis 55 of election was required. 

(v) Election by the House of Commons. The majority of the Conference recom- 
mended that the Second Chamber should consist of 327 persons, of whom 246 
should be elected by members of the House of Commons (grouped into terri- 
torial areas), and the remaining 81 (to be chosen at first from the existing 
peerage) by a Joint Standing Committee of both Houses. The tenure of seats 
would be of 12 years, and one-third of the members would retire every four 
years.] 

Legislative Functions of the Second Chamber 

43. ... It has always been understood in this country . . . that 
the Second Chamber should be entitled to full power in the sphere of 
such legislation as is not of a financial character. . . . 

43. It is recognised on all hands that Bills of a purely financial 
nature belong to the House of Commons alone and ought not to be 
rejected or amended by the Second Chamber. 

But what is a purely financial Bill ? 

46. . . . The Conference spent many hours in trying to find such 
a definition, but without success. . . . But an examination of the cases 
of doubt which had arisen in this country and elsewhere, showed that 
most, perhaps # nearly all of them, could have been disposed of after a 
not very protracted discussion round a table by a dozen practical 
fair-minded men; and the Conference was thus led to believe that the 
be$t method of treating these doubtful and disputable Bills would be 
to refer them to a small carefully selected Joint Standing Committee 
of both Houses of Parliament, making its decision final. . . - 

[There should, therefore, be a Finance Committee, of not more than seven 
members from each House, to which either House might refer controversial 
financial Bills. Those Bills, or parts of Bills, which the committee declared to 
be non-financial might be handled in the normal way by the Second Chamber.] 

Adjustment of Differences between the two Houses 

[Differences should be settled at a Free Conference of not more than sixty 
members drawn from both Houses.] 

49. . . . If and when agreement is reached by the Free Conference 
its terms would be reported to both Houses. Each House would then 
consider them and accept them or reject them. ... If, however, the 
Bill (as reported by the Free Conference) was accepted by one House 
but rejected by the other, some further method of effecting an«adjust- 
ment would be required. . . . 

52. ... Three such methods were put forward for consideration. . . . 

53. The first was that the House which accepted the Bill as reported 
by the Free Conference should have* the right of referring it £0 a 



154 Parliament 

Joint Sitting of both Houses. . . . [This] finally failed to command 
general assent. 

54. A second plan was that of referring the matters in controversy 
between the Houses to the country by means of a Referendum or 
popular vote of all the registered electors. . . . 

55. The majority of the Conference, however, did not approve this 
plan on the ground (among others) that the use of the Referendum 
once introduced could not be confined to the cases for which it was in 
this instance proposed, that it might tend to lower the authority and 
dignity of Parliament, and that it was unsuited to the conditions of 
a large country, and especially of the United Kingdom, for different 
parts of which different legislation is sometimes required. 

56. . . . [A] method of adjustment . . . was at last discovered by 
returning to and carrying further that mode of proceeding by Free 
Conference. . . . 

. . . This step would be to send the Bill back to the Free Confer- 
ence, which would take up the matter again in the Session next follow- 
ing that in which the Bill originated. If the Free Conference should 
then, after further consideration, again report the Bill to the Houses 
in the same form in which it had been previously reported, the Houses 
would again consider the Bill. 

If they both agreed to it, it would pass ; if they both disagreed to it, 
or if the House of Commons alone disagreed, it would lapse. If, how- 
ever, the House of Commons alone agreed to the Bill, and it had been 
reported by the Free Conference by a majority of not less than three 
of the members present and voting, it would be submitted for the 
Royal Assent. 

Should the Free Conference however fail to agree to report the Bill 
again in the same form, or if the majority by which it agreed to report 
it should be less than three the Bill would lapse, unless of course it was 
accepted by both Houses as reported. 

61. . . . We had to reconcile the sentiment of attachment to a 
venerable institution with the needs of new social conditions and the 
demands of new phases of thought. There were two principles on which 
a Second Chamber might be constructed. One was that of filling a 
House with the largest available number of capable and experienced 
men whose presence would win for it that kind of authority which 
comes from personal eminence. The other principle was that of 
creating a Chamber which should be most quickly responsive and 
most fully responsible to public opinion, drawing its strength from the 
fact that it had been popularly elected. It was impossible to give full 
scope and application to either of these principles and to secure in 
ample measure the benefit of either source of strength without losing 
some of the merits to be expected from the other. We had, therefore, to 
finc^means whereby to combine as many as possible of the advantages 



Reform of the Second Chamber , igi8 155 

with as few as possible of the defects of either course, and we had 
to remember that a plan which philosophers might approve would not 
necessarily find like favour with the bodies by whose will it would 
have to pass into law. So, too, when the powers of the Second Chamber 
had to be defined, similar perplexities arose. It was generally agreed 
that a Second Chamber would be of little use unless it were strong 
enough to differ from the House of Commons when a proper occasion 
arose — a proper occasion being one in which there was reason to 
believe that some decision of the Commons did not express the full 
and deliberate will of the people. But it was also agreed that the 
Second Chamber ought not to be so strongly entrenched as to dispose 
it to engage in frequent contests with the House of Commons, so as to 
embarrass the Executive and clog the wheels of legislation. It thus 
became necessary to steer a middle course between these extremes. . . . 


THE DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT, 1923 

From a speech by Mr. H. IL Asquith at the National Liberal Club on 18 

December ig2$ 

Mr. Asquith: . . . And now let me say here, by way of parenthesis, 
there seems to be a good deal of confusion in the public mind on the 
subject of the power of dissolution. I may claim to speak, 1 won’t 
say with authority, but with some experience* on this matter, for I 
am the only person now living who* has felt it. his duty to advise the 
Crown to dissolve Parliament twice in a single year — the year 1910. .. . 
I need hardly tell you there is absolutely no analogy between that 
case and the circumstances of the present time. 

The dissolution of Parliament is in this country one of the preroga- 
tives of the Crown. It is not a mere feudal survival, but it is part, and 
I think a useful part, of our constitutional system, for which there is 
no counterpart in any other country. ... It does not mean that the 
Crown should act arbitrarily and without the advice of responsible 
Ministers, but it does mean that the Crown is not bound to take the 
advice of a particular Minister to put its subjects to the tumult and 
turmoil of a series of General Elections so long as it can find other 
Ministers who are prepared to give it a trial. The notion that a Minister 
— a Minister who cannot command a majority in the House of Com- 
mons, but who is in a minority of 3 1 P er cent, the notion that a 
Minister in those circumstances is invested with the right to demand a 
dissolution is as subversive of constitutional usage as it would, in my 
opinion, be pernicious to the general and paramount interests of the 
nation at large. . . . 



156 


Parliament 


LEGISLATION AND PARLIAMENTARY TIME, 1930 

House of Commons Debates, 18 February 1930; Official Report , cc. 1226-7 

Colonel Ashley: ... I am naturally anxious that the [Road 
Traffic] Bill should receive a favourable reception, because ... I 
had certainly a substantial share in the fashioning of the Bill. In 1927 
I circulated, for criticism and suggestion, a draft Traffic Bill to all 
local authorities and organisations of people who were legitimately 
interested. That Bill was not founded on my personal opinion, but on 
the reports of two Departmental Committees. It was not, if I may 
say so, a Government Bill. It was not an official Bill in the sense 
that we did not tie ourselves down to any of the details, and it 
was circulated solely for the purposes of gathering criticisms and 
remarks, so as to enable us to ascertain the real views of the people 
concerned. . . . 

„ . . This Bill is long overdue, and I make a present of that remark 
to any hon. Member opposite who may wish to ask me why I did not 
introduce it when I had the honour to occupy the position of Minister 
of Transport. But the reason for that is well known. Every Govern- 
ment wishes to pass more legislation than there is time for, and if a 
Department has had one big Measure allotted to it in the course of a 
Parliament, it is considered to be lucky. We in the Ministry of Trans- 
port had the Electricity Act. Naturally, all the other Ministers make 
it their business to see that one Department does not get more than 
one Bill of that importance in order that their own Departments may 
have opportunities. That is the real explanation of why the Traffic 
Bill was kept over for two or three years. . . . 


THE WORKING OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, 1931 

Evidence before the Select Committee on Procedure on Public Business ( H.C . 

161 of 1931) 

(A) The Right Hon. J. Ramsay Macdonald, M.P., The Prime 
Minister, Examined: 

Sir Hugh O’Neill 

8. Might I ask . . . one question which, perhaps, rather goes to the 
root of the matter. Do you consider, Prime Minister, that the main 
function of the procedure of Parliament should be primarily to get 
things done as quickly as possible, to get things through; of course 



The Working of the House of Commons , iggi 157 

that would favour principally the Government; or should it be really 
aimed principally at favouring careful deliberation and adequate 
criticism of the different measures that are brought forward? — It is 
really a combination of both. . . . Standing Orders and Procedure 
Rules should limit abuses as much as possible, but protect the right 
of the Opposition to be heard, and to give counsel, and to make its 
position clear to the country; and, against that, you have to balance 
up the rights of the Government, which are, in a sentence, to get legis- 
lation through after due examination. A Parliamentary machine is 
rather like a living organism, you have to balance up rights and 
wrongs. 

9. Do you consider the procedure of Parliament unduly handicaps 
the Government in getting its business through? — On the whole, 
yes. 

10. So any reforms you would suggest would be in the direction of 
making it easier for the Government to get its business through, and 
consequently putting more spokes in the wheels of the Opposition, 
whose object it is to prevent and delay business? — If the business of the 
Opposition is to delay, then I am perfectly willing to put spokes in 
their wheel. If the business of the Opposition is to secure adequate 
examination, I do not propose to put any spokes in their wheel. 
Members disagree as to where the line between the two is to be 
drawn. 

29. . . . — This fundamental question comes. Really, what is the 
House of Commons itself? It consists not only of a Government, but 
of .an Opposition, and they have both got fury: tions and rights. The 
great right of the Opposition is the Mi discussion of measures proposed 
by the Government. It is there, I think, that our fundamental weakness 
lies. There is a doctrine that it is the function of the Opposition to 
oppose. I have always regarded that as a crime against the State. It 
is not the function of the Opposition to oppose; it is the function of 
the Opposition to oppose Second Readings, but once the Second 
Reading has been accepted, the only function of the Opposition is to 
improve in its own direction within the scope of the Vote that has 
been registered, that is, that it should have full liberty to examine on 
Committee and Report, and then to say its final word of opposition 
on the Third Reading of the Bill. The Opposition has no right to 
obstruct in the sense of making Parliament barren or unproductive. . . . 

(B) The Right Hon. Stanley Baldwin, M.P., Examined: 

Mr. Hore-Belisha 

237. Do not you think it is impossible for any Parliamentary 
Assembly to control finance in detail, unless it delegates that function 
to an expert Committie? — I think, iry practice, that is so. . . . 

Mbg 



158 Parliament 

Mr . Ede 

239. ... Is it not a fact that at the time when the grants were made 
more or less directly to the King, the Executive was outside the 
House, whereas today the Executive is in the House, is an integral 
part of the House, and in a good many Parliaments the Parliament 
could not continue unless the Executive was constantly there voting 
for itself? — Yes. 

243. We are trying to carry on in the twentieth century a system 
that is based on a theory when the composition of the House in relation 
to the Executive was entirely different? — Yes. 

244. Is there any remedy for that, that will enable the House to 
recover control of finance and to examine for necessary economies 
itself, without the dreadful alternative of having to throw the Govern- 
ment out to do it, and getting a Government that quite possibly it 
does not want in return? — I quite see what you mean, but all the 
economies that you are talking about, and all the economies that can 
be obtained, or that you could hope to obtain, by what you call 
control of Parliament, are a mere bagatelle compared with the power 
that the House of Commons has itself of spending money. There, I 
think, your observation comes in perfectly truly, Mr. Hore-Belisha. It 
is broad policy that means, I will not use the word “extravagance,” 
but that means expenditure. Over that the House of -Commons has 
complete control, but, of course, that control is whether or no it 
accepts certain Bills. As you were saying, it means the dismissal of a 
Government if they do not like to spend money. The amount of 
subjects to which the Control of Parliament, in the way of examining 
the details of expenditure extends, is really very limited. 

(C) The Right Hon. David Lloyd George, M.P., Examined: 

Chairman {Mr. Ernest Brown) 

350. The Committee would like to know whether you consider there 
is any justification for the public criticism of the present system of 
procedure . . . ? — ... I have no doubt at all there is a good deal of 
criticism of Parliamentary institutions altogether, and I think there 
is a very great and growing disappointment with Parliament . . . 
[353] * • • The only real endeavour made in recent years to secure 
economy has been in consequence of pressure from outside on the 
Executive. I am referring to the Geddes Committee. There has been 
no examination by the House of Commons itself of the Estimates . . . 
That will be my first criticism on the procedure of the House of 
Commons, and one of the reasons why I think on the whole it is 
losing a good deal of prestige amongst the masses of the people. . . . 
My [second] criticism would be that the control of the Executive by 
the House of Commons is confined to rather perfunctory discussions, 



The Working of the House of Commons^ iggi 159 

which do not excite any real interest, apart from an element of censure 
which is conducive to excitement, but does not achieve the real pur- 
pose of establishing control over the Executive. . . . [356] . . . The 
fact of the matter is that the House of Commons has no real effective 
and continuous control over the actions of the Executive. I noticed 
that questions were put — I forget whether to Mr. Baldwin or to the 
Prime Minister — with regard to the setting up of Committees and the 
analogy of the municipalities was referred to. I think there is a good 
deal to be said about that. Every municipality in the land has com- 
mittees which consider every important detail of administration, and 
report upon it to the council. The general discussions take place there. 
The examination in detail takes place in the committees which are set 
up for that purpose. You have a finance committee, a surveyors’ com- 
mittee, a police committee, and a health committee, and there are all 
kinds of committees. On questions of principle you have a debate in 
the # council chamber, but the close examination takes place by com- 
mittees where the officials are present and questions can be put to 
them, and if the committees would lik^ to have any outside opinion, 
if they think any other opinion would enlighten them upon the topics 
they are examining, they can send for anybody. But you have no 
machinery of that kind in the House of Commons, and until you have 
it the House # of Commons will have no effective control over the 
Executive. . . . 

Mr, Hore-Bdisha 

362. That committee would control the Departmental affairs in 
regard to administration ? — No. I would not like to say that. The 
control must rest with the Minister because he is responsible to Par- 
liament, and through Parliament to the Crown. The Minister must 
have the ultimate say. subject to what Parliament says, but it would 
enable the House of Commons effectively to supervise, and not only 
that, but to keep itself informed. 

363. Do you envisage the Minister being Chairman of such a com- 
mittee? — No. The Minister is in the House. 

364. He is summoned before the committee? — Yes; he comes before 
the committee. 

365. And a Civil Servant might also be summoned ? — Certainly. I 
would suggest that you have power to send for anybody. 

366. And no information could be withheld? — Oh, no. . . . 


Chairman m 

909. . . . There has been some difference of opinion as to the com- 
parative merits of the guillotine and the kangaroo, and as to where 
they ought to be applied, and to what Bills? I have come to the 
conclusion that there 3 S a certain type of Bill you can never get through 



i6o 


Parliament 


the House of Commons unless you have a guillotine. If it is a highly 
controversial Bill, I think it is quite impossible to get it through. . . . 

Mr. Hore-Belisha 

935. You agree that the guillotine is a device to be resorted to in 
exceptional circumstances only? — In exceptional circumstances, 
certainly. 

936. Then you disagree with the Prime Minister, who suggested it 
should be a normal process? — I am not in favour of making it a 
normal process. You know by the very touch of the thing what Bills 
are likely to provoke, I do not like to use the word ‘obstruction, 5 but 
obstructive opposition; not only obstructive opposition, but an 
opposition which cannot be restrained within the bounds of time. 

937. You think every Bill ought to be sent upstairs to a small Com- ' 
mittee? — Yes, I have absolutely no doubt about that. 

938. Except the major Bills? — Yes. . . . [1034] . . . my suggestion 
is that you should have many more Committees. You would have 
Committees, first of all, to deal with administration. You would have 
Committees to deal with legislation, and then one Member would 
say: ct I am a Member of the Budget Committee or the Finance Com- 
mittee 55 ; another Member would say: “I am a Member of the Com- 
mittee which deals with the defence of this country 55 ; and so on. There 
is no doubt at all that it gives an absolutely new status to a Member, 
and enables you to give him a blue ribbon without making him a 
Member of the Administration. . . . 

(D) Sir Archibald Sinclair, M.P., Examined: 

Captain Bourne 

1262. . . . You said that you would like smaller and more numerous 
Standing Committees? — Yes. 

1263. I suppose you realise that there are at the present moment 
only three decent Committee Rooms in the House? I am putting it 
as a question that it would be difficult to bring it in at once ? — Frankly, 

I did not quite realise that structural difficulty, but I imagine it could 
be overcome. 

1264. I imagine it could be overcome, but actually if Standing 
Committees are to sit in private Committee rooms of that sort, there 
are only two good ones and two bad ones in the House; there are 
No. 14, No. 10, the Grand Committee Room in Westminster Hall, and 
No. 1 2. (Those are the only ones which exist, and No. 12 is very small? 
— Perhaps with smaller Committees it would be possible to put up a 
partition. 

1265. It would necessitate a certain amount of structural alteration 
of the House. I do not know whether you realised that ? — Yes, it would. 



The Working of the House of Commons , iggi 161 

(E) The Right Hon. Lord Eustace Percy, M.P., Examined; 

Chairman 

1886. I think the Committee has received a memorandum which 
you kindly forwarded. I do not know whether you would prefer to 
deal with it, or shall we incorporate it in the minutes as it is? — Just 
as you wish. The memorandum is as follows; 

“1. Proposals for reforming the procedure of the House of Commons 
usually fail because their purpose is not defined. By demanding that 
it should be more businesslike without defining what its business is, 
reformers often get no further than proposals which would make it 
look more businesslike, without really enabling it to do more business. 

“2. The proper business of the House of Commons may be defined 
roughly as follows: to focus public attention on the important issues 
of the day, to grant taxation limited to the immediate needs of the 
Executive, to appropriate the public revenues to particular services, 
to press the Executive (in return for the taxes granted) for the redress 
of popular grievances, and to grant tjie Executive such additional 
legal powers as may be necessary for the efficient conduct of public 
administration. 

“The critic may object that this definition is an old-fashioned one. 
The reply to # that objection is that, whether we like it or not, the 
House of Commons has never succeeded in extending its effective 
action much beyond the held where it had established itself two 
hundred years ago, after ir had asserted its legitimate rights against 
the Crown. It does not, and cannot, itself govern the country, and 
many of its present defects probabIy*arise rrom the recent ‘democratic’ 
tendency to convert it into a sovereign parliamentary assembly on the 
Continental model, governing the country through a committee of 
ministers. In our constitutional pracuce, the distinction between 
Executive and Legislature is, in essence, more clearly drawn than in 
the written constitutions of countries which have nominally adopted 
the principle of the ‘separation of powers.’ The King’s Ministers are 
responsible to Parliament, but they are responsible for the discharge 
of duties which Parliament is radically unfitted to discharge for itself. 
It is not even the business of the House of Commons to ‘control the 
King’s Ministers, if by that is meant to control the detail of their 
administration or even of their expenditure. It controls Ministers most 
effectively by forming a broad general opinion as to their personal 
reliability and treating them accordingly, but it never has been, and 
never will be, able to offer them authoritative guidance in the*pfficient 
and economical management of their departments. ... 

“5. We now come to the more difficult questions of the duties of the 
House in regard to taxation and legislation. In considering these 
questions, we must at*the outset face-the reallv serious charge which 



162 


Parliament 


can be levelled against the House. It is not that on really far-reaching and 
contendous Bills we prolong debate and hamper the Government. . . . 
The serious charge is that we obstruct non-contentious legislation in 
order that there may be less time for the passage of contentious legisla- 
tion. There can be no improvement in Parliamentary procedure unless 
this practice is abandoned. But we must also face the fact that this 
practice will not be, and perhaps ought not to be, abandoned unless 
at the same time some limit is placed on the time available for con- 
tentious legislation. Obstructive tactics largely arise from uncertainty 
as to the allocation of Parliamentary time during a Session ; the early 
months of every Session are a kind of gamble on time, and a keen 
Opposition often deprives the Government of more time than, even 
in its own view, is good for the conduct of necessary business, while a 
busy Government often wastes the time of the House by introducing 
more legislation than it could pass even if the Opposition abstained 
from all obstruction. 

“6. The only remedy for this is to fix the length of Parliamentary 
Sessions and, to some extent,* to allocate time to fixed objects during 
each Session. . . .” 

(F) The Right Hon. Sir Herbert Samuel, M.P., Examined: 

Chairman 

2531. You were, I believe, the Chairman of the Select Committee 
on National Expenditure in 1917-1918? — Yes. 

2533- • • * — The reference to that Committee covered partly the 
same ground as the reference t6 your present Committee. We had 
among other things to consider the procedure of this House in relation 
to Supply and Appropriation, so as to secure more effectual control 
by Parliament over public expenditure. ... We issued a questionnaire 
to a large number of authorities on matters of procedure . . . and the 
consensus of opinion that was shown by the replies . . . was very 
strongly in favour of the establishment of an Estimates Committee. . . . 

Captain Bourne 

2536. Would you elaborate a little what you mean by examination 
of the Estimates by a Committee . . . ? — Yes, certainly. Perhaps first 
I might say the reasons why we made that recommendation. ... We 
found that for 25 years on no occasion had the House of Commons 
ever of its own motion reduced any Estimate presented to it on financial 
ground#, and I believe that during the years that have elapsed since 
1918 the same condition has applied. The law of the Constitution does 
not allow the House of Commons to increase any of the Estimates that 
are submitted, and the practice of the Constitution has not in fact 
allowed the House of Commonson any occasioif to reduce an Estimate. 



The Working of the House of Commons , igji 163 

The currents of opinion within the House of Commons may influence 
the amount of expenditure, but there is no formal direct control over 
expenditure by the House itself. The Treasury control was in our 
view not adequate. The Treasury is part of the Executive. If the 
Minister who wishes to increase expenditure under any head secures 
the personal assent of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Treasury 
is necessarily silent. ... A Committee was appointed after the war 
under the name of the Estimates Committee in 1922, and has been 
appointed annually ever since. ... [It] differs in many particulars 
from what was contemplated by the Committee of 1918. In the first 
place, we suggested as a matter of fact that there should be two Com- 
mittees ... of 1 5 Members each, which would be able to examine each 
year a very considerable portion of the whole body of Estimates. That 
was not done; there is one Committee of 26 Members. And more 
important than that, we recommended very strongly that there should 
be 3 technical adviser attached to the Committee who should be its 
own officer and whose duty it would be to examine the Estimates or 
some groups of Estimates each year apd report to the Committee 
upon them. . . , Estimates are very technical things, and it needs an 
expert to understand them. A mere Committee of the House of 
Commons of ordinary average Members faced by the great blocks of 
Estimates thaj are circulated each year are helpless, and we reported 
in our view the appointment of such an officer was essential ; we used 
that word. The Comptroller and Auditor General, for reasons which 
we gave, could not perform in our view those functions as well. We 
suggested that an Officer of the Treasury would not be adequate. The 
Treasury, after all, have already passed all the Estimates, and there- 
fore merely to attach an Officer of the Treasury to an Estimates Com- 
mittee of the House of Commons would be to ask an official of a 
Department to draw the attention of the Committee to what might 
be regarded as the failure of his own Department to exercise adequate 
control; in addition to which the Treasury is merely a branch of the 
Executive. ... No officer was in fact attached to the Committee at all 
until 1926, and then it was an Officer of the Treasury. . . . That is the 
main reason in my view why the Estimates Committee has not been as 
effective as we anticipated in 1918 that such a body might be. 

Then there is the second point. We recommended very strongly that 
there should be an opportunity for discussion in the House of Commons 
itself of any particular recommendations made by an Estimates 
Committee. . . . 


Chairman 

2537. May I ask in what form the Committee proposed that this 
opportunity should present itself to the House? — We suggested that 
some of the Supply d£ys . . . should J?e allocated. . . . And, further, 



Parliament 


164 

we ventured to make a strong recommendation that discussions and 
divisions on reports of the Estimates Committee should not be re- 
garded as questions of confidence in the Government of the day. . . . 
[2538] . . . The Estimates Committee, we suggested, should not deal 
with questions of policy. Of course, it is very difficult to draw any 
line, and on some particular occasion the Government might regard 
a particular economy as trenching upon policy. Then we reported in 
these words: “That limitation should exclude from their recommenda- 
tions any proposals which, if carried against the Government, could 
properly entail either their resignation or a dissolution of Parliament. 55 


Sir Basil Peto 

2539. If I might just interrupt, would not that militate against any 
successful check being put upon expenditure by such a Committee if 
the proposal was of a major character of any size at all? — I do r not 
know about any size at all. You ought not to apply questions of the 
rule with regard to policy too rigidly. I should say it was a question 
of policy whether you should have two more battleships or not, but it 
would not be a question of policy what should be the scale of pay of a 
particular class of employees. 

Mr. Ede * 

2540. You would not convince Mr. W. J. Brown of that? — No. . . . 
[2541] . . .You cannot, I think, give any definition of what is policy 
and what is not. 

2542. And in the same way pan one give a definition of what is 
confidence and what is not? Can anybody do that except the Govern- 
ment? — I think that in the last resort that is so, but all that I am 
pleading for is that there should be a change in the convention, which 
used to regard everything as a vote of confidence. . . . 


(G) Sir Malcolm Ramsay, the Comptroller and Auditor- 
General, Examined: 

Chairman 

3686. The Committee is much obliged to you . . . for your very full 
Memorandum. — The Memorandum was as follows : 

c< . . * 2. The present system has, I believe, been generally criticised 
on the ground of its ineffectiveness in controlling the Executive, 
especially as regards expenditure. Such criticism is, in my opinion, 
to a large extent misdirected as proceeding from an imperfect appre- 
ciation of the functions of Parliament: of what it can and ought to 
do. . . . 

“3. * . . If on the other hand ‘Ineffectiveness in controlling the 
Executive* is used merely in a ^general sense, Chen I should say that 



The Working of the House of Commons , iggi 165 

during the past 30 years, and specially since the outbreak of the Euro- 
pean War, Parliament has allowed the Executive a freer hand in 
financial matters. 

“4. This result is due not so much to defects in the financial proce- 
dure, which still allows the House opportunity in plenty of financial 
criticism, but to other causes. On the one hand, there is the enormous 
growth both in volume and complexity of expenditure, and the 
financial and economic difficulties arising out of the War: on the 
other, there has been a change in the attitude of Members at large. . . . 
“5. The following examples may illustrate my meaning: 

(a) Borrowing . Before 1914 H.M. Government could not issue a public 
loan or borrow money (apart from purely temporary advances) except 
on the authority of a resolution passed in Committee of Ways and 
Means . . . which was the foundation of a Bill giving specific authority 
for the amount and nature of the issue. But these limitations were 
swept away by the War: and now under the provisions of the War 
Loan Acts, 1916 and 1919, and the Finance Act, 1921 (s. 47), the 
Treasury has a general power, until Par&ament otherwise determines, 
of replacing any securities issued during the War. . . . 

“( b ) The institution of separate Funds, such as the Road Fund (fed by 
assigned taxes), the Development Fund, the Forestry Fund and the 
Empire Marketing Fund (all three fed by Grants in Aid), has probably 
tended to emancipate the Executive from control or at any rate to 
curtail the opportunity of informed criticism in Parliament. . . . 

il (c) A growing proportion of the public expenditure has taken the 
form of block grants , e.g. the grant for Scottish Education (which is in a 
fixed ratio to the expenditure of Eitgland and Wales) or the grants 
towards police expenditure and health services (a fixed proportion of 
the expenditure of Local Authorities). 

“6, Functions of the Comptroller and Auditor-General. The Public Accounts 
Committee differs radically from the Estimates Committee in that 
attached to it is a special officer, uncontrollable by the Executive, 
responsible directly to Parliament, and removable only on a Resolu- 
tion of both Houses, who — and this is most important — is assisted by 
an examining staff of some 230 persons, of whom all but 40 are actually 
quartered in the premises of the Departments whose accounts are 
audited, and of whom all are engaged continuously throughout the 
year in examining the public accounts and have direct access to the 
books and other departmental records. . . . 

“7. Functions of the Public Accounts Committee. The Committee itself has 
a purely general reference: c to examine the accounts’ and jyhlle it 
takes as its text the reports of the Comptroller and Auditor-General, it 
is at liberty to and does explore the field of economy. 

“Unlike the Estimates Committee, it is not expressly excluded from 
makinsr recommendations involving questions of policy, but it ventures 



Parliament 


1 66 

warily into that domain. ‘Policy 5 is a vague term, and doubtless 
different Committees would adopt a different definition. But probably 
most Members would agree that while the Committee would be very 
ill-advised to attempt to criticise major decisions of policy which have 
already been decided by Parliament as a whole, ... it is not debarred 
from referring to minor matters of policy or calling attention to certain 
aspects of policy, particularly such as might not be familiar to the 
House. Thus, it would seem not improper for the Committee to point 
out that some particular policy has proved more expensive than was 
anticipated or to ask whether a particular object cannot be attained 
by some alternative and cheaper method. . . . 

“9. ... Its influence is not only direct . . . . [10] It is also indirect , but 
not less valuable though incalculable and unseen. It is still true, as 
Mr. Gibson Bowles said in 1903, that ‘there is ground for believing 
that the spending Departments stand more in awe of the Public 
Accounts Committee than of the House itself, probably because there 
is less chance of escaping its close scrutiny. 5 

“The mere fact that the Committee exists, and that the Comptroller 
and Auditor General can invoke its assistance, fortifies the Accounting 
Officers against temptation to stray from the path of economy or of 
financial regularity: further, it enables the Comptroller and Auditor- 
General to dispose at once, and in his stride, of* many matters of which 
Parliament never hears. . . . 

“16. The Estimates Committee has, I am afraid, failed to realise the 
expectations of those who advocated its establishment. . . . This 
result ... is not due to^any shortcoming on the part of the Committee, 
but to the difficulties (foreseen by many experts) which are inherent 
in any attempt to institute detailed examination and control by the 
House of Commons without offence to the cardinal doctrine of Cabinet 
and Ministerial responsibility. 

“17. Chief of these is the extent, imperfectly realised, to which policy 
covers expenditure. All the big money lies in policy, as is shown by 
the following analysis of the Estimates for 1 93 1 taken from the Budget 
Statement, H.C. 90. 

Taking the various categories there shown in Table VI, we find: 

£ 

I 49>339? 000 

i 5°T9 2 5 000 

111.412.000 

11.516.000 

302.950.000 

25.907.000 


1 . Grant Services account for . 

2. Pensions and Insurance account for 

3. Defence accounts for .... 

4. Tax Collection accounts for. 

5. DebtfTnterest and Management account for 

6. All other services account for 


Total ordinary expenditure 


• ^75^316,000 



The Working of the House of Commons, iggi 167 

“Items i, 2, and 5 are determined almost entirely by policy. Nearly 
all of item 3, again, is policy, and of the remaining items, 4 and 6 
(which amount to £37,423,000 or less than 5 per cent, of the whole 
ordinary expenditure), a great deal consists of salaries (which again 
are matters of policy) fixed by the Government on the recommenda- 
tions of Royal Commissions, or as the result of agreements arrived at 
with Staff Associations, or of decisions given by arbitration and other 
courts. . . 

“22. (1) If expenditure, including the policy of expenditure, is to be 
reviewed in detail by a Committee or Committees of the House a 
revolutionary change must be made in procedure and indeed in the 
constitution. . . .” 

Chairman 

3765. The Public Accounts Committee have, on occasion, called 
Miiysters of the Crown in front of them, and questioned them on 
matters of policy, have they not ? — That is so, yes. 

3766. But it is very infrequent, is it not? — Very rare. We have had 
two instances in my experience; we had*the Secretary of State for Air 
down once, and the Secretary of State for War. 

(H) Sir William Graham-Harrisox, Parliamentary Counsel 
to the ^Treasury, Examined: 


Mr. Ede 

4422. If the House increased the number of Standing Committees 
upstairs so that there might be additional Bills front of Committee's 
at the same time, it would probably involve an increase in your Depart- 
ment to cope with the work involved, would it not ? It would mean, 
I imagine, that a good many more Bills would get through altogether, 

would it not ? ^ 

4423. Presumably that would be the object of doing it, of having 
more Bills simultaneously considered in Committee? — I do not think 
we can turn out much more than we are doing now, with our present 
staff. I should like to say that nothing is more difficult in the world 
than to get people to come to my office. It is highly specialised and is 
extremely unpopular. 

Mr. Malone 

4424. Why is that? — Because it is slavery. 

Chairman ^ 

4425. It is a blind alley ?— Perhaps you do not know how one has 
to work. One begins at 10 to half-past, and one cannot make a single 
engagement for the evenings of Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and 
Thursday. I have to Vork on Friday, and the only time I get for 



Parliament 


1 68 

thinking about anything without interruption is Saturday. I have to 
work on Sunday too through the session. 

Mr. Leach 

4426. What is your recruiting method? — One talks to one’s friends 
down at the Temple and Lincoln’s Inn and sees if they have anyone 
who is at all likely ... I have had enormous difficulty in getting any- 
body who is competent. I have a very good staff now, but it was very 
difficult to get them, and I could not get them at all until I told the 
Treasury that I must have more money to pay them. . . . 

4428. Have you drawn any men out of private practice? — Yes, a few. 
I have two men from quite large practices. I do not think they like it very 
much now they have come. 

Mr. Ede 

4429. As far as I can gather from your description of it the life is 
very much like the life of a Member of Parliament, except there is no 
publicity for it? — I think perhaps we get abused more than you do. 


A MEMBER AND HIS TRADE UNION, 1931 

House of Commons Debates , 8 September 1931 ; Official Report , cc. 3-6 

Mr. Speaker: I have to inform the House that I have received a 
letter from the hon. Jyfember for the Newton Division of Lancaster 
(Sir Robert Young) announcingchis resignation of the office of Chair- 
man of Ways and Means. The letter is as follows: 

“Dear Mr. Speaker, 

“It is my duty to inform the House of Commons through you 
that a situation has arisen which makes it necessary for me to resign 
the position of Chairman of Ways and Means. 

“On 26th August, as a result of the changed political situation, I 
wrote a letter to my constituency and said: 

“ £ The Chairman of Ways and Means is appointed for the duration of 
Parliament. It is, however, a Party nomination but subject to the approval of 
the House of Commons. I was appointed by unanimous consent. Nevertheless 
should the Prime Minister on the one hand, or the Labour party on the other 
side, think I should resign I shall certainly do so.’ 

“I s^nt a copy of the letter to the Prime Minister, the Leader of the 
Opposition, and to the executive of the Amalgamated Engineering 
Union, The Prime Minister did not ask me to re^’gn. My trade union 
executive, however, expressed the opinion that I should tender my 
resignation. . . P 



Allocation of Time, 1933 


169 


ALLOCATION OF TIME, 1935 

House of Commons Debates , 11 February 1935; Official Report , cc. iyio-11 . 

The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Stanley Baldwin) : . . . 
I desire to inform the House of an agreement which has been reached 
with regard to the time to be devoted to the Committee stage of [the 
Government of India] Bill, and ... I think this agreement redounds 
immensely to the credit and the common sense and the responsible 
sense of the House. I am grateful to all sections of the Opposition for 
having joined in it. . . . 

The agreement is this. The Government propose to allocate 30 days 
for the Committee stage of the Government of India Bill, and 26 of 
those days will be apportioned by a time-table Resolution, so that the 
Houre may have a definite programme, while the remaining four days 
will be reserved and drawn upon if it should be found that any par- 
ticular apportionment is inadequate. I think that a very wise and 
sensible provision. It will enable great* matters of principle to be 
debated at length and I think will constitute a useful precedent which 
might well be followed in the future. If this proposal can be worked 
with good will, the elasticity of such an arrangement will undoubtedly 
lead to the convenience of Members. I am pleased to be able to inform 
the House that the Chief Whip has secured a large measure of agree- 
ment with regard to the arrangement of the time-table. It is proposed 
that an informal committee representing all parties and all sections 
shall meet and draw up a time-table for the 26 ^days in the most con- 
venient form, and the Chairman of Ways and Means has kindly 
consented to take the chair of that Committee, . . . 


PROCEDURE ON MONEY RESOLUTIONS, 1937-8 

House of Commons Debates, 9 November 1937; Official Report 5 cc. 1393-6 
Mr. Lambert asked the Prime Minister what action the Govern- 
ment propose to take with regard to the report of the Committee on 
Money Resolutions ? 

The Prime Minister (Mr. Neville Chamberlain) : . . . i ne 
Select Committee in their report make two mam recommendations 
which may be summarised shortly as follow:^ * 

First, the passing of a declaratory resolution by the House to be 
enforced by the authority of the Chair indicating certain general lines 
upon which Financial Resolutions should be drawn. 

Secondly, the alteration of Standing Orders so as to allow the 



Parliament 


170 

Second Reading of Money Bills (other than those originating in Com* 
mittee of Ways and Means) to be taken before consideration of the 
relevant Financial Resolutions in Committee. 

The Government, for their part, are prepared to accept in substance 
the second recommendation, as enabling hon. Members to express 
their views on the detailed provisions of the Bill at an early stage, anc 
as meeting the criticism that the House should not be required tc 
examine and discuss the terms of the financial provisions as set out ir 
the Financial Resolution before being fully informed of the Govern- 
ment’s intentions as detailed in the clauses of the Bill. . . . 

While appreciating the considerations upon which the resolution 
included in the first recommendation is founded, the Governmenl 
cannot feel that the directions set out therein are compatible with the 
fundamental principle embodied in Standing Order No. 63, namely, 
that of the Crown’s initiative in regard to expenditure, a principle the 
wisdom of which the Committee recognised. ... 

Although unable to subscribe to the proposed declaratory resolution, 
His Majesty’s Government . welcome the opportunity of declaring 
that it is their definite intention to secure that Financial Resolutions 
in respect of Bills shall be so framed as not to restrict the scope within 
which the Committee on the Bills may consider amendments further 
than is necessary to enable His Majesty’s Government to discharge 
their responsibilities in regard to public expenditure and to leave to 
the Committee the utmost freedom for discussion and amendment of 
details which is compatible with the discharge of those responsibilities. 

Accordingly, written instructions are being given to Departments 
and to the Parliamentary Couitsel’s Office drawing attention to the 
Report of the Select Committee on Procedure relating to Money 
Resolutions and to the statement which I am now making and 
Requiring that in future the terms of any Financial Resolution, for the 
drafting of which they are responsible, shall not be so drawn as to 
involve undue restrictions and that this declaration shall be complied 
with. The House may wish to hear the actual terms of the instructions. 
They are as follow: 

“Sir, 

“ Financial Resolutions 

“I am directed by the Lords Commissioners of His Majesty’s Treasury to 
invite your attention to the Report of the Select Committee on Procedure 
relating to Money Resolutions (H.C. 149 of 1937) and to the reply given by 
the Prime Minister in the House of Commons on 9 November 1937, and in 
particular to the declaration that it is the definite intention of His Majesty’s 
Government to secure that financial resolutions in respect of Bills shall be so 
framed as not to restrict the scope within which the Committee on the Bills 
may consider amendments further than is necessary to enable the Government 
to discharge their responsibilities ife regard to public expenditure and to leave 



Procedure on Money Resolutions , 1937-8 171 

to the Committee the utmost freedom for discussion and amendment of details 
which is compatible with the discharge of those responsibilities. 

“I am further to request that the necessary steps be taken to acquaint all 
those concerned with the requirement that the terms of any Financial Resolu- 
tion, in the drafting of which they are concerned, shall not be so drawn as to 
involve undue restrictions and that the Government’s declaration shall be 
complied with in all cases. 

“I am, etc.” 

House of Commons Debates , 1 February 1938; Official Report , c. 103 
Ordered : 

“That a Bill (other than a Bill which is required to originate in Committee 
of Ways and Means) the main object of which is the creation of a public 
charge may either be presented, or brought in upon an Order of the House, 
by a Minister of the Crown, and, in the case of a Bill so presented or brought 
in, the creation of the charge shall not require to be authorised by a Com- 
mitt& of the whole House until the Bill has been read a Second time, and 
that after the charge has been so authorised the Bill shall be proceeded with 
in the same manner as a Bill which involves a charge that is subsidiary to its 
main purpose.” 

Ordered : 

“That this Order be a Standing Order of the House.” 

[The Prime Minister .] 


DELEGATED LEGISLATION 

A) 

House of Commons Debates , 27 January 1937 ; Official Report , cc, 1026 $qq. 

Mr. Dingle Foot: I beg to move, 

“That in the opinion of this House, the power of the Executive has increased, 
is increasing, and ought to be diminished.” 

. . . There are two aspects of this subject to which I want to call 
the attention of the House. The first is the continuous encroachment * 
of the Executive at the expense of the House of Commons, with the 
result that this House becomes more and more subservient to the 
Government of the day. The second is the attempt that has been 
deliberately made in Statute after Statute in recent years to invest 
Government Departments with completely arbitrary powers. Hon. 
Members will not be surprised if I have occasion to quote the words 
of the Lord Chief justice . . . which he wrote in his book published 
eight years ago: 1 

1 Lord Hewart %f Bury, The New despotism (London, 1929). 



Parliament 


172 

“The old despotism, which was defeated, offered Parliament a challenge. 
The new despotism, which is not yet defeated, gives Parliament an anaesthetic. 
The strategy is different, but the goal is the same. It is to subordinate Parlia- 
ment, to evade the courts, and to render the will or caprice of the Executive 
unfettered and supreme.” 

... I know that it is inevitable in these days that we in Parliament 
should delegate a good deal of authority to bodies outside, and I know 
that we have to give Government Departments considerable power to 
issue Orders, Rules and Regulations; but the feature of almost all 
Regulations, even when they come under the review of this House and 
require affirmative Resolutions, is that they cannot be amended. We 
cannot do more than either accept or reject them as a whole. . . . 

[The House was counted out.] 


(B) 

House of Commons Debates , ij May 1944; Official Report , cc . 202 sqq . 

Mr. Molson: I beg to move, 

“That this House would welcome the setting up of a Select Committee . . . 
to carry on a continuous examination of all Statutory Rules and Orders and 
other instruments of delegated legislation presented to Parliament. ...” 

There are a number of reasons why delegated legislation is not only 
desirable but necessary. In the first place, it economises the time of the 
Legislature. . . . 

In the second place f delegated legislation is flexible. It can limit.the 
application of legislation by time, location, ownership, age or other- 
wise, and all these limitations are able to be changed at short notice. . . . 

In the third place, the value of delegated legislation is that, in a 
eudden emergency, it enables the Legislature to dispense with long 
deliberation and to arm the Executive with the special powers that 
are needed. . . . 

In the fourth place, where a Legislature is forced to influence the 
economic life of the country by physical measures, powers of this kind 
are almost inevitable. When we are using duties, quotas, licences, 
bounties and various other expedients, it is obvious that some power 
has to be given either to the Treasury or the Tariff Advisory Committee 
to give effect to the policy of Parliament. . . . 

Among those who have given special attention to the matter of 
delegated legislation there are many who think that we should rely 
upon the courts to protect the people’s liberty. I venture to think that 
that is an error. The courts are only suited for the purpose of determin- 
ing what is legal and what is illegal. What we arefprimarily concerned 
about are Orders and Regulations issued by the Executive which are 
perfectly lucid and legal but which are bureaucratic, vexatious, 



Delegated Legislation , 1937-50 173 

embarrassing and harassing to the subject. Whether or not this House 
should approve an Order of that kind is a political decision which 
only a Legislature is competent to make. . . . 

Mr. Silverman: There has been so far throughout the Debate a 
considerable amount of agreement. Certain principles appear not to 
be controversial at all. One is that the delegation to Ministers of 
Parliament’s sovereign right to make laws is to that extent an infringe- 
ment and an abrogation of the functions of Parliament. The second 
thing that appears to be agreed is that, even though that be conceded, 
it is inevitable in our complicated world that, if this House is to func- 
tion at all, such delegation shall be made. . . . The third ... is that 
it remains necessary, and becomes more and more necessary, that the 
House should apply some kind of selective principle. While it agrees 
that some part of its sovereign authority to make law must be handed 
over to Ministers, we must, in order that we may retain our control of 
the fews of the country, retain our own responsibility for what is done. 
We may delegate the act, but we cannot delegate the responsibility 
for the act. . . . 

. . . What are the conditions on which judicial functions can be 
exercised? The first is that the tribunal, the judge, shall have no 
interest whatever in the result of the case he is trying. The second is 
that he shall ]je answerable to nobody for what he does. . . . He has 
to be free from criticism or penalty for what he does, and he has to be 
uninfluenced, in his judicial determination of a question before him, 
by the consequences of what he does. It is not for the court to say: “We 
will not do justice in this case because the consequences go far beyond 
the importance of the case.” He ha? to do justice in the case before 
him, though the Heavens fall. Unless those three conditions are 
satisfied, judicial functions cannot be exercised at all. 

. . . Those conditions, which are vital to the exercise of judicial func- 
tions, are the antithesis of the principles on which we work in thiS 
House. . . . 

... I say that, inevitably, when the House is concerned to consider 
whether the Minister is right or wrong in the exercise of his functions 
under the Regulations, it may have to consider at one and the same 
time two distinct questions. One is: “Does the House wish the Govern- 
ment to fall?” The other is: “Was the particular exercise right or 
wrong?” . . . 

The Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. 
Herbert Morrison) : . . . [The] terms of reference must be such that 
the Committee does not try to do the work of the courts of la^. It is 
not for the Committee to decide — indeed, it is not for Parliament to 
decide what is the proper, legal interpretation of a Statute, or whether 
Regulations are within-the legal terms of the Statute. That is for the 
courts, and it is constitutionally of th# greatest importance that the 

Nbg 



Parliament 


174 

independence and freedom from Parliamentary interference of the 
courts, even to the extent of Parliament not trying to interpret the 
law, should be guarded. . . . 

[Motion, by leave , withdrawn .] 


(G) 

House of Commons Debates , 21 Jane 1944: Official Report , cc. 910-11 
Ordered : 

“That a Select Committee be appointed to consider every Statutory 
Rule or Order (including any Provisional Rule made under Section 2 
of the Rules Publication Act, 1893) laid or laid in draft before the 
House, being a Rule, Order, or Draft upon which proceedings may be 
taken in either House in pursuance of any Act of Parliament, with a 
view to determining whether the special attention of the House sl^puld 
be drawn to it on any of the following grounds : 

“(i) that it imposes a charge on the public revenues or contains 
provisions requiring payment to be made to the Exchequer or any 
Government Department or to any local or public authority in 
consideration of any licence or consent, or of any services to be 
rendered, or prescribes the amount of any such charge or pay- 
ments : 

“(ii) that it is made in pursuance of an enactment containing 
specific provisions excluding it from challenge in the courts, either 
at all times or after the expiration of a specified period : 

“(iii) that it appears to mak£ some unusual or unexpected use of 
the powers conferred by the Statute under which it is made : 

“(iv) that there appears to have been unjustifiable delay in the 
^publication of it : 

i “(v) that for any special reason, its form or purport calls for 
elucidation. 55 

Ordered : 

“That the Committee shall have the assistance of the Counsel to 
Mr. Speaker. 55 

Ordered : 

“That the Committee have power to sit notwithstanding any 
Adjournment of the House, and to report from time to time. 55 

Ordered : 

r 

“That the Committee have power to requij£ any Government 
Department concerned to submit a memorandum explaining any 
Rule, Order, or Draft which may be under t^eir consideration or to 



Delegated Legislation , 1937-30 175 

depute a representative to appear before them as a Witness for the 
purpose of explaining any such Rule, Order, or Draft.” 

Ordered : 

“That it be an Instruction to the Committee that before reporting 
that the special attention of the House should be drawn to any Rule, 
Order, or Draft the Committee do afford to any Government Depart- 
ment concerned therewith an opportunity of furnishing orally or in 
writing such explanations as the Department think fit.” 

[Mr. Herbert Morrison .] 


(D) 

Special Report from the Select Committee on Statutory Instruments ( H.C . 123 

of 1950) 

[Select Committee appointed to consider every Statutory Instrument laid 
or laid in draft before the House, being an Instrument or Draft of an Instru- 
ment upon which proceedings may be or njight have been taken in either 
House in pursuance of any Act of Parliament, with a view to determining 
whether the special attention of the House should be drawn to it on any of 
the following grounds: 

(i) that it imposes a charge on the public revenues or contains provisions 
requiring payments to be made to the Exchequer or any Government Depart- 
ment or to any local or public authority in consideration of any licence or 
consent, or of any services to be rendered, or prescribes the amount of any 
such charge or payments; 

(ii) that it is made in pursuance of an enactment Containing specific provi- 
sions excluding it from challenge in the courts, either at all times or after the 
expiration of a specified period ; 

(iii) that it appears to make some unusual or unexpected use of the powers 

conferred by the Statute under which it is made; ** 

(iv) that it purports to have retrospective effect where the parent Statute 
confers no express authority so to provide; 

(v) that there appears to have been unjustified delay in the publication or 
in the laying of it before Parliament; 

(vi) that there appears to have been unjustifiable delay in sending a notifi- 
cation to Mr. Speaker under the proviso to subsection (1) of section four to 
the Statutory Instruments Act, 1946, where an Instrument has come into 
operation before it has been laid before Parliament; 

(vii) that for any special reason its form or purport calls for elucidation.] 

1. Your Committee have examined 682 Statutory Instruments and 

Drafts of Instruments since the beginning of the Session and have 
drawn the attention of the House to seven. Of the 682 Instruments 
examined, 325 arore out of Emergency legislation, i.e. were presented 
under the Supplies ^nd Services (Transitional Powers) Act, 1945, as 
extended by the Supplies and Services (Extended Purposes) Act, 
1947, Emergency Ljp.ws (Transitional Provisions) Act, 1946, or the 



Parliament 


176 

Goods and Services (Price Control) Acts, 1939 and 1941. Of the seven 
Instruments brought to the special attention of the house, one was 
reported under the fifth head of the Committee's Order of Reference 
(unjustifiable delay in laying before Parliament) and six under the 
seventh (need for elucidation). . . . 


(E) 

Report from the Select Committee on Delegated Legislation; 2J October , 4955. 
(■ H.C . 310 of 1353) 

1. Your Committee were appointed by a resolution of this House on 
the 1 8th of December, 1952, to consider in what respects the existing 
procedures, by which the control of this House over delegated legisla- 
tion is exercised, need to be improved or supplemented and by ^vhat 
means this can best be achieved. ... * 

4. Your Committee have been asked, in the first place, to consider 
the existing procedures by <. which the control of this House over 
delegated legislation is exercised. 

5. The power to legislate, when delegated by Parliament, differs 
from Parliament’s own power to legislate : Parliament is supreme and 
the power of the Queen in Parliament to legislate is unlimited. On the 
other hand, the power of legislation granted by Parliament to another 
body or persons is limited by the exact extent of the delegated power 
so granted; the purported exercise of power beyond the extent so 
granted will be ultra vires and ineffective. 

6. The legality of an Act of Parliament cannot be challenged in or 
by the Courts of Law, but the question whether subordinate legislation 
is.within the power delegated by Parliament can be and is challenged 
in and by the Courts of Law. 

7. Frequently, subordinate legislation is issued in the form of an 
Order in Council, that is an Order expressed to be made by Her 
Majesty by and with the advice of Her Privy Council and signed by 
the Clerk of the Council. 

But not every instrument so issued is an enactment of subordinate 
legislation under a power delegated by Act of Parliament. 

Orders in Council are of two kinds and they differ fundamentally in 
constitutional principle. The two kinds are: 

(a) those made in virtue of the Royal Prerogative, and 

(b) those which are authorised by Act of Parliament. 

The Royal Prerogative is that which remains of the original sovereign 
power of the Crown to legislate without the autrority of Parliament, 
e.g. power to declare a rigid blockade of enemy territory in time of war. 

This power is in no sense delegated and Oders in Gouncil issued 



177 


Delegated Legislation , 1937-50 

in exercise of this power are not subordinate; they are original legis- 
lation. Your Committee are not concerned with them in this report. 
Your Committee have to consider (inter alia) those Orders in Council 
made under the authority of an Act of Parliament. . . . 

20. The figures for 1952 were: 

Acts of Parliament, 64; one volume of 1,437 pages (including, as it 
happened, over 900 pages of merely consolidating statutes) ; Public 
Instruments; registered, 1,029 — 3 volumes of 3,980 pages; Local 
Instruments, registered, 1,283 — not published collectively. . . . 

24. One classification of the instruments of delegated legislation is 
into: 

(a) Those which are required by the enabling Act to be laid 

before Parliament; 

(1 b ) Those which are not so required by the enabling Act. 

25. The requirement to lay before Parliament first occurred in the 
Acts of the 1830’s, but it was not regularly insisted upon until a long 
way into the 1 9th century. The requirement and the nature and extent 
and timing of it are matters entirely governed by Parliament in passing 
the enabling Bill empowering the making of the particular instru- 
ment. ... 

28. Figures are available of the annual totals of Statutory rules and 
orders or Statutory instruments registered since the beginning of 1894. 
From the first, as already stated, the register discriminated between 
those which were General and those which were Local. Local ones deal 
with such matters as Local Authorities’ powers, fishery districts, 
traffic orders about built-up areas, or one way streets, burial grounds, 
diseases of animals, water supply, land drainage, wild bird protection 
and so on. With certain exceptions, referred to below in paragraph 31, 
Parliament has not thought it worth while to exercise any special con- 
trol over, or even to require information about, instruments of merely 
local application. . . . 

29. . . . The annual combined total of all instruments, general and 
local, has never exceeded 3,000; the annual total of general instruments 
has never exceeded 2,000. But to estimate the total of all instruments 
in operation to-day would be mere guesswork . . . 

31. Sir Cecil Carr* estimated that out of 377 draft or final instru- 
ments which came before the Scrutiny Committee (hereafter referred 
to) this year only 79 could be described as local in character. They 
were made up as follows: 37 se ^ s London Traffic Regulations; 14 
orders restoring rights of way suspended under War Regulations; 6 
re-arranging boundaries of constituencies; 6 Scottish hydro-electric 
schemes; 3 amendfng Local Acts; 3 bringing into force in specified 
areas the statutory provisions for special designations of milk; 2 dealing 

1 Counsel to Mr » Speaker. 



Parliament 


178 

with open spaces in London; 5 relating to Local Courts; 2 altering 
statutory areas for gas and electricity; 1 relating to levy of expenses 
in a fisheries district. 

32. The decision whether power shall be granted to a subordinate 
authority to legislate is made by the Queen in Parliament, and the 
decision also provides the conditions under which that authority shall 
be exercised. The decision is contained in the enabling Act. 

33. We asked for information from 22 Departments on two points, 
namely : 

( 1 ) the procedure followed in the Department in connection with 
drafting a clause in a Bill giving power to make regulations, and, 

(2) the procedure followed in the Department in making the 
regulations. . . . 

36. In broad outline, the methods followed in all the Departments 

are the same. * 

37. The procedure in connection with the preparation of a bill is 
as follows : 

(1) All important matters of policy and principle are dealt with 
directly in the Bill itself and the general practice is to limit regulation- 
making powers to : 

(a) matters too detailed, e.g. procedural points or technical issues; 

(b) matters in which elasticity is desirable to enable alterations to 
be made in the light of changed circumstances ; 

(c) matters in which new Statutory powers are being created and 
in which the line of future developments cannot be fully foreseen. 

(2) The Minister throughout is responsible. He settles the general 
line of the proposed legislation. The Clause giving power to make 
regulations is carefully considered from the outset and the Minister 
decides its form and the extent of the powers which he will recommend 
to Parliament. 

38. Then with regard to the instrument, made in pursuance of the 
power given by the enabling Act, the practice is to follow the instruc- 
tions of the Minister. Wherever practicable, outside interests which 
may be affected (e.g. local authorities, trade interests, professional 
organisations and so on), are consulted informally. The document is 
then drafted by the Legal Staff of the Department. In some Depart- 
ments there is a regular Committee of senior officials of the Department 
who go through all draft instruments in detail and report thereon to 
the Minister before he signifies his final approval. 

39 * AU regulations which are subject to Parliamentary procedure 
and all other regulations of importance are signe 4 /by the Secretary of 
State or other Minister responsible. In minor cases such as those 
relating to purely local matters, the instrument i^ay be signed on behalf 



Delegated Legislation , 1937-50 1 79 

of the Minister, provided, even in the those cases, that the approval of 
the Minister has first been obtained. 

40. In certain cases subordinate legislation is submitted for approval 
to the Legislation Committee of the Cabinet whose terms of reference 
leave it to the discretion of the Minister concerned to decide whether 
a particular instrument should be submitted in draft to the Committee. 
The Committee must, however, have an opportunity of examining: 

{a) all Orders in Council under emergency or transitional legisla- 
tion. 

( b ) all statutory instruments likely to affect a large number of 
Departments whose interests cannot conveniently be ascertained by 
direct consultation. 

(c) all statutory instruments likely to give rise to criticism by the 
Scrutiny Committee hereinafter referred to. 

% ( d ) all statutory instruments involving any departure from prece- 
dent, e.g. in the type of penalties imposed, in the procedure relating 
to such matters as appeals, or in encroachments on the liberty of the 
subject. * 

The Legislation Committee is presided over by a Senior Cabinet 
Minister and normally includes the Lord Chancellor, the Leaders of 
the two Houses, and Law Officers and the Chief Whip. The Depart- 
ment concerned with the proposed instrument prepares and sends to 
the Committee a memorandum explaining why the Order is required 
and the Minister has to obtain the approval of his colleagues. . . . 

*46. ... In 1944 a sessional Committee of the* House was established. 
It has been continued in all subsequent sessions. It is now known as 
the Select Committee on Statutory Instruments but it is usually and 
in this Report referred to as the Ci Scrutiny Committee. 55 

47. The Scrutiny Committee consists of eleven members. The 
quorum is three. The practice is to appoint a member of the Opposi- 
tion as Chairman and this seems to be in process of becoming a con- 
vention. It usually meets fortnightly, and, in special circumstances, 
more often. . . . 

48. The Scrutiny Committee cannot consider or report on the merits 
or policy of any of the instruments. In drawing the attention of the 
House to an instrument, it gives no detailed reasons, but merely refers 
to the heading under which it reports. Before, however, it reports, it 
must and does hear what the Department concerned with the instru- 
ment has to say. The Department’s answer is annexed to the report 
and usually indicates the Committee’s point. In several sessions the 
Committee has submitted a Special Report containing general com- 
ments on possible improvements in departmental practice. Treasury' 
circulars have directed the attention of Departments to these Special 
Reports. 



1 80 Parliament 

49. There are two matters in connection with the Scrutiny Commit- 
tee to which attention should be directed, namely : 

(a) Owing to the delay in setting up the Committee at the begin- 
ning of a Session, the time-limit for moving an address against 
some instruments may expire before the Committee examines them. 
That, in fact, happened this Session. This defect could be mitigated, 
if not overcome, by making it a permanent Standing Committee 
instead of one appointed each Session. 

(. b ) The time-lag caused by obtaining and considering the Depart- 
ment’s answer has the consequence that the Committee’s report 
sometimes reaches the House too late to be effective. 

50. From its inception towards the end of 1944 down to the end of 
last year, the Scrutiny Committee had seen some 6,900 instruments, 
namely all that are subject to either the affirmative or negative pro- 
cedure of the House. It drew the attention of the House to 93 of tfyese. 

51. Sir Cecil Carr, who attends and advises the Scrutiny Committee, 
made this comment on all officially registered instruments and those 
which come before the Comniittee. 

“The total of nearly 7,000 instruments examined may be compared 
with the total of approximately 19.400 instruments officially registered 
in the same period. Probably some 10,250 of this gross total were public 
instruments. If so, and if generalisation is pardonable r on figures so 
imprecise, it seems that not quite 70 per cent, of the general instru- 
ments come within the purview of Parliament as either requiring 
affirmative approval or exposed to the negative procedure. Anyone 
who cares to study the contents^ of the annual volumes of statutory 
instruments will probably be satisfied that much of the text is of a 
routine or administrative character involving no great issues of liberty 
or, public rights.” 

, 52. The nature of a Statutory Instrument, the requirement of publi- 
cation and the standard machinery of parliamentary control are pre- 
scribed in the Statutory Instruments Act, 1946 (brought into force on 
January 1st, 1948), and the Statutory Instruments Regulations, 1947, 
made thereunder. . . . 


Parliamentary Control 

64. As stated in paragraphs 32 to 38, the Minister introducing a Bill 
is responsible for the decision to propose to Parliament that a clause be 
included in the Bill empowering the making of statutory instruments 
embodying some legislation. The Minister proposes, but Parliament 
itself decides in each enabling Act. 

(a) whether power shall be delegated to, make subordinate 
legislation. 

(b) to whom the power shaAl be delegated., 



Delegated Legislation^ 1937-50 18 1 

(c) the extent of the power. 

(d) the form in which it shall be exercised, 

(e) whether the instrument whereby the power is exercised shall 
or shall not be laid before Parliament. 

(f) whether the instrument shall be subject to an affirmative or a 
negative resolution or neither. 

65. Parliament has dealt in various ways with instruments embodying 
delegated legislation which have to be laid before it : 

[a) Laying without further provision for control ; 

( b ) Laying with deferred operation; 

(, c ) Laying with immediate effect but subject to annulment; 

(, d ) Laying in draft but subject to resolution that no further 
proceedings be taken; 

(e) Laying in draft and requiring affirmative resolution; 

* (f) Laying with operation deferred until approval given by 
affirmative resolution; 

(g) Laying with immediate effect but requiring affirmative resolu- 
tion as a condition of continuance. 

The most usual are (c) laying with immediate effect but subject to 
annulment and (e) laying in draft and requiring affirmative resolu- 
tion. . . . 

77. In his memorandum Sir Frederic Metcalfe, the Clerk of the 

House, produced an analysis of the time taken by the House in con- 
sidering statutory instruments. * 

In session 1951-52 the total time taken in the House on Affirmative 
Resolutions was 14*- hours and on motions under the negative proce- 
dure was just over 25 hours. In the session 1952 to the 5th February, 
1953, the total time taken on Affirmative Resolutions was 18 hours 
8 minutes and on the Negative procedure 9 hours. Motions under thfe 
negative procedure are hereafter referred to as “prayers 55 , a term 
derived from the words “An Humble Address, praying 55 — which occur 
in the form of the motion. 

78. As the Minister concerned wants the instrument awaiting the 
affirmative resolution to become effective, the Government, as has 
been stated, find the time for the resolution to be brought forward and, 
if the House so requires, debated. Although affirmative resolutions, 
like prayers, are business exempted from Standing Order as to time 
of adjournment, the necessary time is, on occasions, found before the 
usual hour of adjournment. Sir Frederic Metcalfe has supplied a 
summary and an analysis of the time taken before and after 10 p.m. 
in the sessions from 1947 to 1952. The figures show that the number 
of resolutions and tire time taken thereby is slightly greater after than 
before 10 p.m. 



182 


Parliament 


79. The prayer to annul a statutory instrument is put down by a 
Member. Any Member may put it down and he may or may not be 
supported by other Members. The Member putting down the prayer 
must seek an opportunity upon which to move the prayer. That 
opportunity will not occur until Government business is disposed of 
and this normally means that the opportunity will not occur until 
after 10 p.m. 

The Member moving the prayer must try to ensure that there is a 
quorum of Members (namely 40) present. Moreover, the Government 
must also be prepared to require the attendance of their supporters 
in case there is a division. The Government can move the adjourn- 
ment of the House immediately before a prayer. This power could be 
so exercised as to prevent discussion of the motion or the annulment 
of the instrument within the statutory period. In practice, only occa- 
sional use of the power has been made. It could, however, be effective 
and practicable against obstruction. A prayer may be put down agSinst 
every single statutory instrument and an opportunity sought to move 
it. If that were done then the. whole business of the House would soon 
be brought to a complete standstill. 

80. As it is, the House may sit on for a considerable time each night 
after its normal hour of rising. It has sat on many occasions into the 
small hours of the morning of the next day and even through the night. 

81. The question has thus arisen not only as to the convenience of 
Members, and the time available for the proper discharge of the 
ordinary business of the House, but also whether, by the method and 
time now available a#d the advantage that may be taken of it by a 
Member or a group of Members, the House is fully aware of the 
matters that may arise on a statutory instrument and so exercise that 
control which is necessary and desirable. . . . 

*107. Your Committee therefore recommend: 

(1) That, with regard to Statutory Instruments which are subject to 
the Negative Prayer, the procedure shall continue as at present, except 
that if a prayer is under discussion at 1 1.30 p.m. the Speaker shall at 
that hour put the question to the House, unless he shall be of opinion 
that: 


(a) owing to the lateness of the time of starting the discussion on 
the prayer, or 

( b ) owing to the importance of the issues raised by the Statutory 
Instrument, 

the tii^e for debate has not been adequate, the debate shall be ad- 
journed to the next ordinary sitting day of the House (other than a 
Friday) when it shall be resumed at the end of government business 
for that day and it shall be subject to the same procedure as on the 
first day; 



Delegated Legislation , 1937-50 183 

(2) That the Prayer for the annulment of a Statutory Instrument 
should set out the reasons for such annulment; 

(3) That the Scrutiny Committee should not be made into a Stand- 
ing Committee but its appointment at the beginning of each Session 
should be treated as a matter of urgency. 

(4) That the Scrutiny Committee should include with its Report to 
the House any letter from it to a Government Department in which 
the point in issue on a Statutory Instrument, and the reason for 
inviting a Departmental Memorandum, are indicated, and the Com- 
mittee should, as now, include also the reply of the Department. 

(5) That the period of 40 days shall commence from the day when 
the Statutory Instrument is available to Members in the Vote Office 
and that the date when it is so available be placed thereon; but that 
where the Scrutiny Committee in their Report draw the particular 
attention of the House to a Statutory Instrument, then the time shall 
be ?o days from the date when the Report of that Committee is made 
or the statutory 40 days, whichever time is the longer; 

(6) That at the head of a Statutory Instrument there shall be printed 
a note stating whether it is subject to the Affirmative or to the Nega- 
tive procedure or whether it is exempt from both processes ; 

(7) That the recommendations made by the Donoughmore Com- 
mittee in paragraph 15, ’page 64, of their Report be endorsed, namely, 
that the expressions “regulation, rule, order” should not be used 
indiscriminately to describe the Instruments by which the law-making 
power conferred on Ministers by Parliament is exercised. 


THE LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION, 1937 

(A) 

House of Commons Debates , 9 December 1937 ; Official Report , cc. 564-5 
Mr. Liddall asked the Prime Minister whether he will give an 
early date for the discussion of the motion standing in the name of the 
hon. Member for Lincoln ? 

[“That in view of the fact that at Madrid on 6 December 1937, notwith- 
standing he had, before leaving this country, given an undertaking not to take 
part in any activities liable to be interpreted as inconsistent with His Majesty’s 
Government’s policy of non-intervention, the Leader of His Majesty’s official 
Opposition (Mr. Clement Attlee) stated publicly, ‘When we return to 
London, administered by Socialists and workers, we shall convene £ public 
meeting to inform the people about the facts of the situation and unbeaten^ 
invincible Republican spain’, this House declares that the Right Honourable 
Gentleman the Member for Limehouse is guilty of a breach of faith and is 
unfit to again be granted <a visa to Spain. 



184 


Parliament 


(B) 

House of Commons Debates , 15 December 1937; Official Report , cc. 821-4 

Mr. Attlee : Mr. Speaker, I desire, with your permission to make 
a personal statement. . . . 

The basis of the charge [in Mr. LiddalPs motion] appears to be 
that because at a luncheon party given in my honour by the Com- 
mander-in- Chief of the Spanish Army, in response to a speech of 
welcome, I expressed my sympathy with the Spanish Government and 
my intention of informing the people of this country of the facts of the 
situation, I had thereby violated an undertaking given before my 
departure from this country. . . . Before proceeding to Spain I signed 
an undertaking in the following terms: 

“I undertake that nothing shall take place in the course of my visit that 
could be considered as implying any intervention by me on behalf of either 
side of the present dispute in Spain.” 

This is the common form signed by all persons proceeding from this 
country to any part of Spanish territory. It applies to business men, 
journalists and relief workers. It is exacted from British subjects by 
His Majesty’s Government in pursuance of the policy of non- 
intervention. ... ^ 

The assumption underlying the Motion ... is that the signing of 
this undertaking imposes upon the signatory the duty of refraining, 
while in Spain, from expressing any opinion in favour either of the 
Government of Spain«or of the rebels. I cannot possibly accept such 
an interpretation. If such were* the meaning of this undertaking it 
would be one which no British Government ought to impose and 
which no Member of Parliament who had regard to the rights and 
privileges of Members could possibly accept. It would mean that a 
Member of Parliament, of any party, must not express his own opinions, 
but must reflect the policy of the Government; that he may go to 
Spain, but only in a muzzle. I do not believe for one moment that this 
was the purpose aimed at in exacting the undertaking. If I had thought 
this to be the meaning of the undertaking, I would never have signed 
it, for I could not have implemented it. 

Obviously, a Member of Parliament, especially the leader of a 
party, is bound, in the course of conversation, or on occasions of more 
formality, such as the exchange of courtesies, to express opinions on 
the merits of the contest in Spain. . . . 

It cannot be too strongly emphasised that a private Member of 
Parliament does not by his words or actions Involve the British Gov- 
'ernment, but that he is a free man with the right of freely expressing 
his opinions. In his Motion, the hon. Member for Lincoln has specifically 
referred to me as “the Leadertfof His Majesty’s Official Opposition,” 



The Leader of the Opposition , igjy 185 

and seems to imply that this places me in a special category. 
The Leader of the Opposition is a private Member. He owes no 
allegiance to the Government. No action of his can in any way impli- 
cate the Government. He is responsible only to his constituents and to 
the Members from whom he derives his position. He is, I think, under 
a special obligation to defend the rights and privileges of private 
Members, particularly the right of every Member to express his 
opinion freely on all matters of public policy. I make no excuse or 
apology for anything said or done by me in the course of my visit to 
Spain. The particular words of which the hon. Member for Lincoln 
complains are inaccurately reported, but I make no attempt to shield 
myself by alleging misrepresentation. I did state my sympathy for the 
Spanish people and the Spanish Government, and I did state the 
intention of the party which I have the honour to lead to do their 
utmost in every legitimate way to assist them in their struggle. I claim 
thaf, as a Member of this House, I have every right to do so. I utterly 
repudiate the suggestion that in doing so I have broken any pledge. 

The Prime Minister (Mr. Neville Chamberlain) : I rise only to say 
this. ... I hope the House will now accept this statement, and take what 
seems to me the right and most dignified course — namely, to let it rest 
there. 


THE DISSOLUTION OF PARLIAMENT, 1944 

- House of Commons Debates , 29 March 1944; Official Report , c, 1516 

Mr. Price: . . . [It] is impossible to say that, because this House 
has on this occasion voted against the Government [in amending the 
Education Bill, to provide equal payment for men and women 
teachers], therefore there is no confidence in the Government. . . . 
[The] Prime Minister ... is claiming for the Executive now to dissolve 
Parliament and go to the country 

The Prime Minister (Mr. Churchill) : I never said anything of 
the sort. I must make it absolutely dear that it does not rest with any 
Prime Minister to dissolve Parliament. The utmost he can do is to 
tender advice to the Crown. 

Mr. Price : That, of course, is the law, but in actual fact the advice 
comes from the Prime Minister. 

The Prime Minister: This is one of the exceptional occasions when 
the Prerogative of the Crown comes into play and where in doubtful 
circumstances the Crown would refer to other advisers. It has been 
done on several occasions. I must make it absolutely clear that it does, 
not rest with the Government of the day. It would be most improper! 
on my part to use any language which suggested that I have the/ 
power to make such a ^ecision. ^ 



i86 


Parliament 


COMMITTEES OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, 1945 

Proceedings before the Select Committee on Procedure , 1945-6 

The Right Hon. Herbert Morrison, M.P., Lord President of 
the Council, Examined : 

Mr. Messer 

134. As is known by those who have had any experience of Com- 
mittees, a lot of time has been wasted sometimes owing to the inability 
to get a quorum. Of course we understand that it is the Government’s 
job to ensure its quorum, but does Mr. Morrison think it would be an 
improvement if the Selection Committee selected smaller Committees 
as permanent Committees, with a number of added people who would 
have specialised knowledge and that the quorum should be reduced ? — 
On the face of it, I am sympathetic to the point that Mr. Messer puts. 
There are some complications about it. My whole bias would be in 
favour of smaller Committees sitting round a horseshoe table and 
arguing out in a friendly and objective way the details of a Bill. The 
question is whether they would argue them out in a friendly and 
co-operative way, and whether they would act in the horseshoe spirit, 
which is rather contrary to the general Parliamentary tradition on the 
handling of Bills on Committee stage. If they could do it in the right 
spirit, in the spirit that would be conducive to that end, there is a lot 
to be said for a smaller Committee, but I doubt whether it fits into 
our Parliamentary traditions that they will do so. The trouble about 
a small Committee is, to be perfectly frank, that it reduces the Govern- 
ment’s majority, and if the Government’s majority is reduced too much, 
whatever Government it may be, irrespective of Party, then the risk 
tends to increase unless it has got absolutely iron reliability on the part 
of its own members, which it has not always got in a Committee. . . . 

Now, as to the matter of specialisation of members, I think that the 
principle which now obtains, whereby there is a Committee A, B, C, 
and so on, with a number of members on it to which a number of 
members are added who want to go on, or are supposed to have special 
knowledge and probably very often have special knowledge about it, 
is right. But I would not myself favour the principle that you tried to 
turn the Standing Committees into specialists on a Bill. I think a lot 
of longhaired planners on a Town Planning Bill, all of them long- 
haired, would be a dreadful thing. A substantial body of common- 
sense citizens would be a good thing. I think a body of 100 per cent, 
educationists on an Education Bill would be a dreadful thing, or a 
"body of doctors on a Health Bill. The great quality of Parliament is 
the quality of sense, of average intelligence examining into these 
matters, Jbeing a sort of Jury*? and I do not favour the SDecialist 



Committees of the House of Commons , 1949 187 

committee too much; but a specialist element on a Committee is a 
good thing. . . . 

136. You do spend a lot of time in Committee, and when you get 
to the end of a Session, and you are not able to complete it, it means 
that the whole of that time has been wasted. Is there not some argu- 
ment in favour of carrying on to the next Session? — There is. I am 
in two minds about it. It is an awful thing if the House and the Com- 
mittees have considered a Bill at some length and then the prorogation 
comes and off it goes. It is a very sad event, and it is a shocking waste 
of Parliamentary time. On the other hand, as with most things about 
Parliamentary procedure, there are two angles to it. If the Government 
knows that it can carry on it may be less forthcoming in coming to a 
compromise with the Opposition and its critics; it may be more 
obstinate and more pigheaded; there is that against it. The other thing 
is that the Opposition is in a dilemma, too. If it proceeds to block or 
obstsuct a Bill towards the end of a Session, which it knows to be 
popular, it may think twice about it, if it means the death of the Bill. 
It may think more about it if the Bill is unpopular, or it believes it is 
unpopular. Therefore, it is a two-edged sword; it cuts both ways. In 
my present mood (I reserve the right to change my opinion), I should 
say that taking the balance of things, on the whole it is a good thing 
that both the Government and the Opposition should know that if they 
do not get their business finished by a certain date then something sad is 
going to happen. It is a good incentive to both sides, and whilst I want 
guillotines and closures, and whatnot within reason, I think it is a good 
thing to reserve the element of excitement, adventure, and even gamble, 
about Parliament, in some respects, because it keeps us ail alive .... 


PARLL4MENTARY CONTROL OF NATIONALISED 
INDUSTRIES 

(A) 

House of Commons Official Report; Standing Committees , 1496-47, VoL II, 

cc. 1900 sqq . 

Transport Bill; Standing Committee B ; 29 February 1947 
Sir David Maxwell Fyfe: . . . the Minister is taking extremely 
wide and unnecessary powers. It will be observed that . . . he — 

may, after consultation with the Commission — 

and, of course, consultation with the Commission ties him to nothing, 
but merely means th&t there must be a discussion between his officials 
and the officials of the Commission — , 



i88 


Parliament 


. . . give to the Commission directions of a general character as to the exercise 
and performance by the Commission of their functions . . . 

That, again, would be very wide in itself; but there are the additional 
words : 

... in relation to matters which appear to him to affect the national interest. . . . 

We have heard from the learned Attorney-General that when such 
words as c appear to him” are inserted in a Clause, the effect is to 
leave it entirely to the Minister, without check or control of any kind, 
and to make the test an entirely subjective one. Therefore, it appears 
to us that it is equivalent to saying he may give directions of a general 
character on any matter on which he chooses. . . . 

Mr. Barnes: . . . There is a definite constitutional change in the 
legislation we are introducing in this Parliament with regard to public 
corporations from what prevailed in similar types of corporations 
before the war. For instance, in the legislation which created bodies 
like the London Passenger Transport Board or the Electricity Com- 
missioners, you do not find within the provisions of those Acts of Par- 
liament the powers which the Minister is given in . . . this Bill, but 
then it was not contemplated by the Government of the day that they 
should be part of the economic organisation pf the State to secure, or 
to give their contribution towards, a policy of full employment. . . . 

(B) 

House of Commons Official Report ; Standing Committees , igqG-qy, VoL IV, 

cc. 633 sqq. 

Electricity Bill; Standing Committee E; 13 March igqj 
„ Mr. R. S. Hudson: ... I think it would be for the general con- 
venience of the Committee if I asked the Minister if he could give us 
a short description of how he visualises the development of his rela- 
tions . . . with the Central [Electrical] Authority. For example, we 
would like to know of the extent to which he visualises the Central 
Authority will be under his control, and to what extent can Parliament 
hold the Minister responsible for the actions of the Central 
Authority. . . . 

The Minister of Fuel and Power (Mr. Emmanuel Shinwell) : 

. . . To begin with, we are following the precedent created in 1938 by 
the then Conservative Government, when the Board of Trade was 
"■empowered to give to the Coal Commission general directions as to the 
exercise of their functions in a certain part of 7 the Coal Act. The 
powers so vested in the Board ^f Trade were to be exercised without 



Parliamentary Control of Nationalised Industries 1 89 

consultation. We have gone further ...;we have said that the Minister 
may exercise his power of general direction after consultation with the 
Central Authority. The procedure we propose to adopt is provided for 
in the Coal Industry Nationalisation Act; it is also in the Civil Aviation 
Act. . . . 

[The] National Coal Board was appointed by the Minister (that 
is, by myself), and ... he took no responsibility for appointments to 
be made by them. There was no provision in the Coal Industry Nation- 
alisation Act for the setting up of Divisional Boards or Area Boards. . . . 
That was left entirely to the discretion of the National Coal Board; 
they were to create the organisation appropriate to the proper con- 
duct of the industry. Therefore, when questions were addressed to me 
in the House on the administrative activities of the National Coal Board 
I naturally declined to give an answer, because upon these matters I 
did not enter into consultation with the National Coal Board. . . . 

With regard to our purpose in seeking this power of general direc- 
tion, I will endeavour to give three reasons which apply so far as 
electricity supply is concerned. ... It is [not] desirable that in the 
provision of huge structures like generating stations, strategical interest 
should be ignored. . . . 

Regarding the provision of electricity supply, it is . . . part of the 
Government’s economic policy to provide for development in what 
were previously regarded as depressed or special areas. ... It may, 
therefore, be necessary for the Minister to exercise a power of direction 
and to indicate to the Central Authority that it is desirable to provide 
electricity supplies in a particular area in order to fit in with the 
Government’s economic policy. 

There is also the question of research. ... [It] is desirable that the 
Government should be able to give some indication of a new departure 
breaking into new fields of study and research, and to ask for investiga- 
tion into matters of this sort. ... c 


(C) 

House of Commons Debates , 4 December 194J ; Official Report , cc, 565 sqq. 

Mr. Herbert Morrison: In the light of experience so far gained, 
the Government have reviewed the question of replies to Parliamentary 
inquiries about the work of socialised industries. . . . 

Under recent legislation, boards have been set up to run socialised 
industries on business lines on behalf of the community; and Ministers 
are not responsible for their day-to-day administration. A large degree 
of independence for the boards in matters of current administration is 
vital to their efficiency as commercial undertakings. A Minister ir»y 
responsible to Parliament for action which he may take in relation to 
a board, or action coming; within his* statutory powers which he has 

Obg 



Parliament 


igo 

not taken. This is the principle that determines generally the matters 
on which a Question may be put down for answer by a Minister in 
the House of Commons. Thus, the Minister would be answerable for 
any directions he gave in the national interest, and for the action which 
he took on proposals which a board was required by Statute to lay 
before him. 

It would be contrary to this principle, and to the clearly expressed 
intention of Parliament in the governing legislation, if Ministers were 
to give, in replies in Parliament or in letters, information about day- 
to-day matters. Undue intervention by the Minister would tend to 
impair the board’s commercial freedom of action. The boards of 
socialised industries are under an obligation to submit annual reports 
and accounts which are to be laid before Parliament. In the Govern- 
ment’s view, it is right that Parliament should from time to time review 
the work of the boards, on the basis of the reports and accounts 
presented to Parliament. ... „ 


(D) 

House of Commons Debates , y June 1948; Official Report , cc. 1699 sqq. 

Mr. Speaker (Colonel Clifton Brown) : . . . I am now in a 
position to state the conclusions I have reached after careful considera- 
tion of the difficulties which have recently arisen with regard to 
Questions dealing with the nationalised industries. 

. . . Questions addressed to Ministers should relate to the public 
affairs with which they are officially connected, to proceedings pending 
in Parliament or to matters of c administration for which they are 
responsible. Rule 26 . . . excludes Questions repeating in substance 
Questions already answered or to which an answer has been refused. . . . 

. . . The Government, in their desire not to interfere in the day to 
day activities of the Boards of nationalised industries, have by what 
might be termed a “self-denying ordinance” refused to answer many 
Questions on subjects which, by a strict interpretation of the statutes, 
might be held to fall within their responsibility. They are fully entitled 
to do so — that is a matter for their discretion. But such a refusal brings 
into action Rule 26 . . . and prevents the admission to the Question 
Paper of all future Questions dealing with the class of matters dealt 
with by the Question to which an answer was refused. 

I have come to the conclusion that in the case of an entirely novel 
branch of the administration, such as that relating to the nationalised 
industries, the strict application of this Rule might operate more 
harshly than either Ministers or Members generally would wish. I am, 
therefore, prepared to make a suggestion which I hope will recommend 
itself to the House, for the power of dispensing 'with its recognised 
rules belongs to the House alongr and not to me. 



Parliamentary Control of Nationalised Industries 191 

I propose to leave the Rule which excludes Questions on matters 
outside Ministerial responsibility unchanged. But I am prepared, if 
it is generally approved, to exercise my discretion to direct the accept- 
ance of Questions asking for a statement to be made on matters about 
which information has been previously refused, provided that, in my 
opinion, the matters are of sufficient public importance to justify this 
concession. . . . 

... of course, it by no means follows that Ministers will be bound 
to answer any Question which I have allowed as being of “public 
importance 55 ; that is their affair. . . . 


(E) 

House of Commons Debates , 25 October 1950; Official Report , cc. 2jgg sqq . 

The Lord President of the Council (Mr. Herbert Morrison) : 

I beg to move, 

That this House notes the steps which have been taken to give effect to the 
responsibility to the community (including consumers and workpeople) of 
the socialised industries, and will welcome any further measures to increase 
their public accountability, consistently with the duty of the Boards to manage 
the industries with maximum efficiency in the public interest. 

• 

... In the first place, it is desirable that the House should try to 
make up its mind as to the basis upon which it desires these com- 
mercial undertakings to be run. It is a perfectly fair case for argument 
whether a publicly-owned industry should b$ vested in a Minister 
and allocated to ordinary State departmental management. 

Mr. Oliver Lyttelton: Like the Post Office. 

Mr. Morrison: Like the Post Office. . . . For example, it is arguable 
whether gas and electricity could not have been adequately managed 
directly by the Minister of Fuel and Power rather than being placed 
under a public corporation, or what now amounts to a series of public 
corporations because of the area boards. . . . 

... it is often urged that when it comes to the sheer business of 
commercial matters the machinery of a State Department necessarily 
works slower than that of an ordinary commercial concern. There is 
truth in that, not because of any inherent incompetence in the Civil 
Service or of State administration, but precisely because Ministers are 
absolutely responsible to Parliament for everything that happens in 
their Departments. And that is right; that is as it should be. 

But the consequence necessarily is that when civil servants arc doing 
things, either with the specific authority of a Minister or in accordance 
with the policy he is presumed to have approved, and probably ha 5 >* 
or in ordinary day-to-day affairs where policy does not arise, there is 
in the minds of the civil servants inevkably the consideration : Is there 



Parliament 


192 

likely to be a Parliamentary argument about this? Is there likely to 
be criticism in the Press? Is the Minister likely to find himself in 
disagreement with his colleagues in the Government? Or is there 
likely to be in any form bother and trouble about it ? 

Consequently, the Civil Service machine, with minutes going to 
and fro, must inevitably be cautious and careful because of the possi- 
bility of Parliamentary trouble, trouble with the public, criticism in 
the Press, and so on. One does not want to discourage this too much, 
because a healthy respect for Parliament by the civil servants in the 
State Departments is a good thing. ... It is an inevitable consequence 
that because the State Department realises the responsibility of the 
Minister to Parliament, and has the instinct that it must try to keep 
its Minister out of trouble, we get caution, checking and counter- 
checking in a way that is not in accordance with commercial practice 
or with the speed of decision which is desirable in business under- 
takings. * 

. . . When we set up a public corporation, what are we trying to do ? 
We are trying to get the best of both worlds. After all, that is half the 
art of politics, of Parliament and of public administration. . . . 

We are trying to do this: First, we have a public concern ... in 
which is invested the public ownership of certain economic under- 
takings, and there are channels of accountability, of Parliamentary 
argument and of discussion. Secondly, we try to graft on to that basis 
a commercial or business management capable of acting with speed, 
capable of rapid decisions, and a business concern which is in a situation 
whereby it can make mistakes from time to time without causing an 
immediate Parliamentary crisis of furore, or great criticism or embar- 
rassment for the Minister. 

... if we have a public corporation, in order to get the advantages 
of commercial management and in order to free it from other meticu- 
lous Parliamentary and political control, the House must take it that, 
in those circumstances, the details of Parliamentary questions and the 
details of Ministerial management, supervision and control have to be 
foregone. . . . 

Suppose we accept the “whole-hog” doctrine that a Minister has to 
be answerable to Parliament for everything a board does, and that 
members of boards must be liable to be summoned before a Select 
Committee for annual examinations at some length. The inevitable 
consequence follows that there will develop in the minds of the members 
of the boards, their officers and their commercial employees the same 
sort of spirit as in the Civil Service — that they will look over their 
shoulder and be exceedingly careful, because they may be pulled up 
% a Parliamentary question or by a Select Committee of the House of 
Commons. We shall have evolving within the management of these 
boards the^same spirit that we have in the Civil Service, something; 



Parliamentary Control of Nationalised Industries 193 

that is quite good in its own sphere but that would not be good in the 
case of these boards. . . . 

I come now to the suggestion, which has been made in more than 
one quarter, that a Select Committee or Select Committees should 
be set up to examine the publicly-owned industries from year to year 
and report to the House on their conduct. Members who have made 
this suggestion have realised that it would be necessary to provide the 
Select Committee with an official, who would presumably need a 
staff, so that the Committee could get adequate and competent 
advice, giving them the raw material on the basis of which appropriate 
questions could be put. 

The suggestion has been made for the appointment of an official, 
something like the Comptroller and Auditor-General, but perhaps with 
special commercial and business experience, to advise the Committee 
in the same way as the Comptroller and Auditor-General advises the 
Estimates Committee [sic] and the Public Accounts Committee. That 
is an idea and a possibility, but we are rather against it for the reasons 
I have already indicated. It would take-up a good deal of the time of 
the chairman and the other members of the board and their principal 
officers. It would take them away from their business and it would 
tend to make them nervous throughout the year about appearing 
before the S^ect Committee. . . . 

That is not to say there should not be periodical reviews of these 
great economic undertakings, which are of such great importance to 
the nation. We are disposed to think that we might here follow — and 
I have the agreement of the chairmen of the boards to this course — 
the procedure which has been adopted in connection with the peri- 
odical inquiry into the British Broadcasting Corporation. They are 
inquiries by citizens wffio hear evidence from other people, pay visits, 
and make a report, which, in due course, is available to Parliament 
and the public. 

... It must not be too often. I think that something in the nature 
of a seven-year period would be about right for the public corpora- 
tions. If they are held too often, there is the disadvantage that the 
men running them would get nervous and be looking over their 
shoulder. I think about seven years would be right. It would be right 
to include a limited number of Members of Parliament as was done 
in the case of the B.B.C. Inquiry. It would be a valuable element and 
would give an association with the Parliamentary institution without 
the disadvantages of the Select Committee. 

We have discussed this with the chairmen of the boards and they 
are agreeable in principle to this being done. I am happy to say there 
is agreement about it. The object would be to conduct an examinatio 1 ;^ 
not so much of a technical character but broadly, and to make recom- 
mendations on policy and structure? This is really a move forward 



Parliament 


194 

in the matter of public accountability of a character that would not 
interfere with the commercial efficiency of the boards. . . . 

Sir Ralph Glyn : . . . The point of this Debate, surely, is whether 
Parliament is willing to surrender its control over expenditure. . . . 
[There] are certain public industries which are maintained by a 
subsidy from Parliament. The air services are public, nationalised 
bodies and are dependent on subsidies. Transport is not; it is to be 
organised in such a way as to operate independently. All the nation- 
alised bodies, however, if they want to raise funds, have power under 
the Acts which were passed by this House to go to the Treasury and 
get a guarantee before they make an issue — that is, public money. I 
was rather distressed when the Lord President, of all people, seemed 
to ignore the chief duty of the House of Commons as the guardian of 
public expenditure. If we do not carry out that duty, we give up one 
of our main functions. . . . 

Mr. Oliver Lyttelton : . . . First of all, let us look at Parliamentary 
control. The plain fact is that the structure of government, considering 
the way it has arisen and the^duties and responsibilities of this House, 
cannot be satisfactorily geared to a corporation engaged in day-to-day 
business. . . . 

Secondly, where a public monopoly is operated with all the force of 
authority of this House and of Ministers who are responsible to this 
House, there can be no satisfactory protection for the consumer. . . . 
The third point is that when we come to administrative efficiency we 
must find that decentralisation ... is entirely the opposite of the theory 
of nationalisation. Decentralisation means giving autonomy, or very 
nearly, to local bodies, whether local authorities or local boards. . . . 

... I turn, first, to the matter of accountability. ... If the day-to- 
day administrative details are to be the subject of day-to-day questioning 
across the Floor of this House, then I give my opinion, for what it is 
tvorth, that administration will become practically impossible. Apart 
from the time that would be spent in answering questions upon 
administrative detail, there is also the psychology which is built up. 

All of us who have been Ministers, and many of us who have not, 
are aware of the splash with which a Parliamentary Question falls 
into the Ministerial pool, and how the Civil Service is engaged upon 
trying to prevent the ripples from spreading. These Questions arrive 
in a Government office rather as the broker’s man or a bailiff arrives 
in the house of the debtor. . . . The whole technique of the Civil 
Service is at the disposal of the Minister to try to prevent the hon. 
Member who has put the Question on the Order Paper from finding 
out what is really going on, covering up the mistakes. At long last, if 

concession has to be made to an intrusive Member, the Civil Service 
very rightly tries to localise the effect and to prevent the concession 
from becoming a precedent. * 



Parliamentary Control of Nationalised Industries 195 

This psychology has many disadvantages in the ordinary administra- 
tion of Acts of Parliament, but it would be quite fatal — and I think 
the Lord President agrees with me on this — if it were applied to 
national boards in day-to-day industry. It would act as a brake to 
the whole effort. If hon. Members ask the Minister of Transport why 
the cod on the 6.30 from Waterloo once again tastes like cold, damp 
cotton-wool, the task of the right hon. Gentleman, which is clearly far 
beyond his or anybody else’s powers already, would become quite 
impossible. I think this is common ground, but, on the other hand, 
and speaking more seriously, vast sums of public money have been 
invested in these industries. The idea of a Minister disclaiming respon- 
sibility for this investment is repugnant to the ideas of Parliamentary 
control of expenditure and cuts across the control of the purse which, 
both actually and historically, is the first sanction in the hands of this 
House. . . . 

F find the subject a difficult one and I can do no more than suggest 
some steps towards a solution. I believe that Ministers have to accept 
responsibility for much more questioning upon these national boards 
and that they have to exercise the right, which they have, of not 
answering the questions if, in their judgment, these apply to trivial 
administrative details. The House of Commons will be an extremely 
good judge of whether this refusal is being used in the public interest . . , 
or as a cloak to conceal administrative incompetence. . . . 


Report from the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries ( H.C . 332 of 1352) 

2. Your Committee have decided to concentrate in their First 
Report upon Questions to Ministers. . . . 

6. In general, Questions must be confined to matters for which tfye 
appropriate minister is responsible. In the case of the Nationalised 
Industries, a large amount of responsibility has been vested in the 
Board. The list of duties for which the Minister is still responsible, and 
on which he may therefore by the practice of the House be questioned, 
is usually set out in a definite Section in each Statute. The duties vary 
slightly from one industry to another, but very roughly may be 
classified as: 

(a) giving to the Board directions of a general character as to the 
exercise and performance by the Board of their functions in relation 
to matters appearing to the Minister to affect the national interest; 

(b) procuring information on any point from the Board; 

(r) a number of specific duties in connexion with the appointments^* 
salaries and conditions of service of members of Boards; pro- 
grammes of research and development, and of education and 



Parliament 


196 

training; borrowing by Boards; forms of accounts and audits; 
annual reports; pensions schemes and compensation for displace- 
ment; and the appointment of Consumers 5 Councils, their organi- 
sation and operation. . . . 

14. Your Committee are aware of a strong desire in some quarters 
to make the Nationalised Industries as generally subject to Parlia- 
mentary Questions as the Post Office and all the other Civil Depart- 
ments. Certain points, however, must be borne in mind in considering 
the advantages and disadvantages of such a policy. 

15. The public corporations which control the Nationalised Indus- 
tries were constituted on different lines from the usual civil depart- 
ments. The public corporations were established as independent 
entities, with statutory obligations to meet their expenditure by their 
own revenue. Their activities involve commercial transactions on a 
large scale, and it is desirable that they should not be unduly ham- 
pered by external interference. On the other hand, it is urged that the 
nation has become the owners of the enormous assets involved in those 
industries, and it is widely feft that there should be means of enquiry 
and criticism. . . . 

17. The basic feature of the Parliamentary Question is that it is 
answered by the Minister ultimately responsible for the decisions about 
which he is questioned. Under their existing constitution^ the Nation- 
alised Industries are not subject to any direct control by Ministers in 
individual matters of detail. Your Committee therefore feel that without 
altering the terms of the statutes under which the public corporations 
are constituted, which tfiey are not empowered to recommend, Questions 
on matters of detail in the Nationalised Industries are inappropriate. 

18. On the other hand, Your Committee are convinced that the 
present method of placing the onus of determining in the first place 
whether a Question which is not obviously ruled out under paragraph 
1 7 above should be placed upon the Order Paper should not rest upon 
the Clerks at the Table. Where the identical Question, or the same 
Question in slightly different terms, has been previously asked, the 
Clerks at the Table are clearly obliged to refuse it. But in the case of 
questions which are not obviously matters of repetition or matters of 
detailed administration the questions should be allowed to appear on 
the Order Paper and the Minister would have to answer or refuse to 
answer on the floor of the House. . . . 


(G) 

^Pefiort from the Select Committee on Nationalised Industries ( H.C , 255 of 1Q53) 

2. Our terms of reference direct us to consider the present methods 
by which the House of Commons is informed of the affairs of the 



Parliamentary Control of Nationalised Industries 197 

Nationalised Industries, and to report what changes, having regard 
to the provisions laid down by Parliament in the relevant statutes, 
might be desirable in those methods. The present methods ... of 
obtaining information . . . comprise the following: 

(1) Debate on Motions 

(a) Motions specifically concerning one or more of the industries, 
either moved by a Minister or by some other Member when the 
Government have given time for the debate; 

(b) “Ballot Motions 55 in Private Members 3 * 5 time; 

(c) Debate on the Address in reply to the King’s Speech; 

( d ) The daily half-hour adjournment at the close of the sitting; 

(e) Adjournment Motions moved by a Minister for the purpose of 
debating a particular subject. 

(A) Debate in Committee of Supply or on an amendment to the question 
“That Mr. Speaker do now leave the Chair 55 (under Standing Order 
No. 17 (2) for Committee of Supply). 

(3) Debate on Bills whether Public or*Private dealing with one or 
more of the industries. 

(4) Debate on Motions to approve or annul Orders or other Statutory 
Instruments made by Ministers under the various nationalisation Acts. 

(5) The annual reports and accounts of the various Boards and Com- 
missions, which are laid before Parliament. 

(6) Questions to Ministers . . . . 

3. There is, however, no doubt that there ?s a general desire for 
information about the Nationalised Industries. The Nationalised 

Industries publish voluminous reports, but these do not completely 
meet the needs of Parliament or the public, partly owing to their 
sheer volume and complexity, and partly because information is noj 
necessarily available on the matters on which it is required or when 
it is required. . . . 

5. A matter which also weighed in our minds was that the Nation- 
alised Industries had insufficient opportunity of presenting their case 
to Parliament and the public, and were exposed to public pressure in 
various ways and much irresponsible criticism. That there was this 
difficulty was confirmed by Lord Hurcomb, 1 who said, “One of the 
very greatest handicaps under which anyone in my position suffers is 
that he gets no opportunity of stating his own case or of explaining 
what are his difficulties direct to Members of Parliament. 55 ... “It 
has been borne on me, if I may say so, without causing offence in 
any quarter, . . . that a great many misapprehensions do exist, and. 
perhaps decisions ar$ taken on some supposition of fact which is not 
correct.” ... 

1 Chairman^of the British Transport Commission. 



Parliament 


198 

7. The arguments in favour of the proposal to set up a Committee 
[to inform Parliament of the affairs of these industries] were briefly 
summarised in the evidence given by Mr. Molson, speaking for 
himself, ... in the following words : 

In the past the House of Commons has always found it convenient, when 
confronted with a special problem, to appoint a committee. I think the 
reasons for this are threefold. First, in order that a few Members of Parliament 
may give intensive study to the problem; secondly, that there may be inter- 
rogation of witnesses and investigation of papers and maps ; thirdly, in order 
that in the seclusion of a committee room there may be comparative freedom 
from political prejudice. ... I believe that the committee which I am advocat- 
ing should elucidate what I might call deep problems of policy. I am sure 
it is important to avoid day-to-day interference with detail, but there is I 
think a great need that from time to time Parliament should have an oppor- 
tunity of taking stock. 

8. The possibility of setting up a Committee was put to Lord 
Hurcomb and Sir Edward Bridges, 1 and additional arguments for the 
proposal were given by them. . . . Lord Hurcomb said : 

The sort of Committee that it seems to me would do much to satisfy the 
very legitimate demand of Parliament for a greater knowledge than can be 
got in debate about the affairs of one of these* great corporations, would 
be something in the nature of a standing committee, so thatfthere would be 
continuity of personnel — a group of members who took a special and continuing 
interest in a particular activity, not merely because it was nationalised, but 
more from the actual interest that the Committee has in the subject. 

He went on to say that — 

A Committee of this sort would, or ought to mean, on that aspect, as these 
matters get further away from the highly controversial, that a large number of 
Members of Parliament would have an opportunity of satisfying themselves 
f and conveying, not by way of attack and of public speech, but by way of 
suggestion to the organisation, the points where they thought something might 
be going wrong, or at any rate, would be worth looking into. That would be 
of great value. 

9. It was strongly represented to us that the proposal to set up a 
permanent Committee of enquiry . . . was not only contrary to the 
spirit and intention of the Acts under which the industries were nation- 
alised, but an innovation in and hostile to the general pattern of the 
British constitution. As Lord Reith 2 said: 

I should have thought the appointment of a select committee, ad hoc , on a 
Nationalised Industry was in effect a negation of what Parliament deliberately 
sdid in setting it up. Parliament passed a sort of self-denying ordinance taking 
from itself the right of direct interference, as with Government Departments. 

1 Permanent Secretary^to the Treasury. 

2 Chairman of the Colonial Development Corporation. 



Parliamentary Control of Nationalised Industries 199 

Unless there is to be a revision of attitude, I would have thought it was con- 
trary to the principle of what was done that you should set up a committee 
whether of one House or both. ... It would seem a sort of institutionalisation 
of the Parliamentary Question, the very thing Parliament denied itself. . . . 

10. The same argument was enlarged by Mr. Herbert Morrison. 
Later ... he adduced a more fundamental objection. When he was 
asked “Really, your objection to the Select Committee is not only to 
its possible ineffectiveness, but also that it is not perhaps the function 
of Parliament to intervene on the efficiency side to the extent which 
is envisaged by a select committee going into it ? 55 he answered, “I 
would die for Parliament — I have an enormous admiration for it — 
but I do not think it is the kind of body to which you could entrust 
this to the point of alteration of the actual management of a complex 
industrial concern . 55 

1 1 . Another argument against the proposal was that a Committee 
would raise the whole question of the responsibility for managing and 
directing the operations of the public corporations. If a Select Com- 
mittee were constantly enquiring into th$ policy and operations of the 
corporation, it would necessarily cause uncertainty in the industry as 
to where the ultimate decisions lay; and this might possibly make 
accountability less rather than more secure. As Lord Reith said, when 
the proposal ^as put to him, “For whom would the public corporation 
be working, putting it quite straightly ? 55 And he indicated that a 
select committee which might start as a friendly communicative body 
might end by investigating and controlling. 

12. The main argument, however, which* has been advanced 
against the proposal is that it would ifnpede the working of the Nation- 
alised Industries and destroy initiative in them. . . . Witnesses were 
apprehensive of a committee if its functions included enquiries into 
wide decisions of policy. . . . Witnesses expressed themselves even more 
strongly over the possibility that the Committee might investigate the 
detailed management of the industries. Lord Reith even spoke of it 
as a terrifying prospect. . . . 

14 . The basic argument for the establishment of a Committee to be 
a liaison between the nationalised industries and Parliament and elicit 
such information as is necessary on behalf of the House of Commons 
is that such a Committee is the only practical means of performing 
those functions. Last session we investigated the possibility of extending 
the sphere of the Parliamentary Question, and reported that it was 
inadvisable. Apart from this the number of ways by which the House 
of Commons can, on its own initiative, obtain information is lupited. 
There is debate, the various forms of which we have already set out^ 
but which has not fully satisfied members and sometimes has not 
occurred sufficiently frequently or sufficiently soon after the issue of 
Reports; there is the procedure of moving for returns, wljich is not 



200 


Parliament 


frequently used or altogether appropriate. There remains only the 
Committee, a body appointed by the House to obtain information 
for it. 

15. We have therefore decided that we must either accept the 

objections, and thus abandon all possibility of dealing with the present 
situation; or, despite the difficulties make — with due safeguards — pro- 
vision for such an enlargement of the field of parliamentary accounta- 
bility as will provide the House of Commons with the information 
which it rightly requires without, in obtaining that information, inter- 
fering with or jeopardising the efficiency of the Nationalised Industries. 
A Committee appears to be the most appropriate means by which this 
can be done. It is essential that the Committee which we are recom- 
mending will, when appointed, set up a tradition of conduct which 
will result in its being regarded by the Board not as an enemy, or a 
critic, but as a confidant, and a protection against irresponsible pres- 
sure, as well as a guardian of the public interest. ... r 

16. . . . The arguments in favour of a Joint Committee [of both 
Houses of Parliament] . . . are that the House of Lords has a great 
number of members with business and other experience available for 
the work; that in general the peers are less encumbered with the 
pressing distractions of everyday work; that the members of the other 
House are less dedicated to party allegiance'; that thej^ membership 
of their House would give the committee the element of continuity 
which it would need ; and that if a Committee were appointed of one 
House alone, the other House might possibly set up another Committee 
with unfortunate results. 

17. We feel, however, that some of the work of the proposed Com- 
mittee must be of a financial nature, and would be more fittingly done 
by a Committee of the House of Commons. Nationalisation arose as 
an act of policy and, for certain industries and services, has been 
harried into law on the initiative of the representatives of the people 
in the House of Commons. It can be said that the general public are 
now the owners of the Nationalised Industries. It seems entirely appro- 
priate to us, therefore, that any Parliamentary Committee set up to 
examine, and obtain information about, these industries at this stage 
of their development should be an exclusively House of Commons 
Committee. . . . On balance therefore we decided with some regrets 
against the proposal of a Joint Committee. 

18. . . . the proposed Committee . . . should, we considered, take 
over the right which the Committee of Public Accounts at present has 
to examine the accounts of the Nationalised Industries, and which that 
Committee is unable at present fully to exercise. . . . 

20. . . . the Committee should, in our opinion, be empowered to 
extend its enquiries more widely than those which the Committee of 
Public Accounts makes into tbfe Government Departments. It should 



Parliamentary Control of Nationalised Industries 20 1 

have a regard, not merely to present and past financial probity and 
stability, but to future plans and programmes. 

21. . . .we consider that the Committee should have power to get 
information as to the policy of the corporations. It would have no 
need to investigate any decision which is the result of a direction from 
the responsible Minister, and for which he is accountable to Parlia- 
ment. Again, any matters which are normally decided by collective 
bargaining arrangements should be avoided. . . . 

28. In considering a model for the organisation of the Committee, 
we had in mind the Committee of Public Accounts. . . . That the 
Committee of Public Accounts should . . . have proved more successful 
than the Select Committee on Estimates is undoubtedly due to the 
work of the Comptroller and Auditor-General and his staff. ... It 
was clear to us that the proposed new Committee would need the 
assistance of a similar permanent official. ... It was, however, realised 
that* as the proposed Committee would have to deal more with con- 
temporary and future matters than is the case of the work of the 
Committee of Public Accounts, the permanent official would have a 
different approach from the Comptroller and Auditor- General. . . . 

33. It was . . . suggested that the permanent officer of the Committee 

should be an officer from a central department of State, perhaps the 
Treasury. After consideration, however, we feel that the permanent 
officer of the Committee, once appointed, should be a servant of the 
House of Commons, and not of the Government or any of the cor- 
porations, and not removable except by an address from each House 
of Parliament. • 

34. We have come to the conclusion that the staff of the proposed 
committee should be as follows : There would necessarily be a Clerk to 
the Committee supplied from the staff of the Clerk of the House in the 
normal way. Then there would be a permanent official of a status 
roughly equivalent to the Comptroller and Auditor-General or Mr. 
Speaker’s Counsel. He would work with the assistance of at least one 
professional accountant, and such other staff as the Committee may 
deem useful, and would examine the reports and accounts of the 
Nationalised Industries in order to direct the Committee’s attention 
to matters requiring examination. If the Committee so desired, the 
Minister in charge of the Department responsible for the general 
oversight of the industry whose affairs were under review should be 
invited to send a senior official to assist the Committee in the examina- 
tion of evidence. . . . 



202 


Parliament 


THE WORKING OF THE HOUSE OF COMMONS, 1946 

Third Report from the Select Committee on Procedure ( H.C . 189 of 1946) 

I.— INTRODUCTION 

1. When Your Committee were appointed in August, 1945, they 
were instructed to report as soon as possible upon a scheme for the 
acceleration of proceedings on public bills. ... In the course of this 
inquiry, the Clerk of the House [Sir Gilbert Campion] was invited 
and undertook to prepare a comprehensive scheme for the reform of 
parliamentary procedure. . . . 

3. The last comprehensive inquiry into the procedure of the House 
was made in 1931-32 by a Select Committee under the chairmanship 
of Mr. Ernest Brown. The problem facing that Committee was diow 
to adapt procedure to the growing pressure of business, a problem 
which, as they recognised, \yas by no means new and presents itself 
“in almost every elective assembly in countries where modern views as 
to the powers and duties of the State are finding expression. 55 The 
problem facing Your Committee is fundamentally the same — in the 
course of the intervening fifteen years it has only become more acute. 
But the atmosphere in which Your Committee approach their task is 
entirely different from that in which the former Committee found 
themselves. The country was then undergoing a time of severe economic 
stress, of industrial depression and widespread unemployment, and 
there was a tendency to criticish all the institutions of government, 
including Parliament itself. Correspondingly, many of the remedies 
proposed to that Committee were of a kind which would have funda- 
mentally changed the whole character and function of Parliament. 
Your Committee have been appointed at a time when the country has 
recently emerged from a war in which parliamentary activity was 
maintained and contributed in large measure to its successful prosecu- 
tion. Consequently there is not at the present time any strong or 
widespread desire for changes in the essential character of the institu- 
tion. Indeed, the prestige of Parliament has probably never stood 
higher. 

4. With these considerations in mind. Your Committee do not feel 
that they are called upon to consider or recommend any proposal to 
alter the essential character of the House of Commons. But past success 
affords no ground for complacency about the present, still less about 

future, and, as Sir Gilbert Campion remarks, parliamentary pro- 
cedure tends always to be a little out of date. The danger to parlia- 
mentary government in this country at the present time is less likely 
to arise fyom lack of confidence in it than from the overwhelming 



Working of the House of Commons , 1946 203 

burden which the growth of Governmental activity places upon it. 
This burden has become greater, not less, with the arrival of peace, 
and it seems probable that it may increase. It is therefore a matter 
for constant vigilance to ensure that the machinery is continuously 
adapted and strengthened to bear the new burdens put upon it. . . . 

5. The problem therefore is how to adapt the procedure of the 
House to enable it to perform efficiently all its functions in relation to 
present and prospective governmental activity. The Clerk of the 
House accordingly devotes the first part of his memorandum to an 
analysis of parliamentary time from the point of view of the various 
functions which the House of Commons is called upon to perform. He 
adopts a fourfold classification: representation of popular opinion, 
control of finance, formulation and control of policy, and legislation. 
Dismissing representation from his calculations, because it has no 
special form of procedure allocated to it, he proceeds to analyse the 
amount of time spent on these functions. . . . This analysis shows that 
in the last 40 years (excluding the war years), the overall length of 
the Session has not varied much, and that the distribution of time 
between the various functions has remained remarkably steady. Legis- 
lation, as might be expected, has occupied the largest amount of time, 
slightly under half on an average. Control of policy and administra- 
tion is found to occupy a relatively high proportion, roughly 40 per 
cent., and is the most constant element of all. Control of finance 
occupies the least time, about 10 per cent, of the session. 


II. — LEGISLATION 

6. . . . legislation takes up more of the time of the House than either 
of the other two main functions. Over the last 40 years it has on the 
average occupied not quite half the total time available, and the pro-* 
portion has remained remarkably constant during the period. In 
the first part of the period, 1906-13, when the average length of the 
session was 149 days, 75*7 days were spent on legislation; in the 
second part of the period, 1919-29, when sessions tended to be shorter 
(139*9 days on the average) the amount of time spent on legislation 
fell proportionally to 62*8 days; and in the last part of the period, 

1 929-38, when sessions became longer again (157*7 days on the 
average), the average time spent on legislation rose to 79*7 days. 

7. Although th e proportion of the session spent on legislation remained 
constant, . . . the volume of legislation per session rose steadily through- 
out the whole period. In the first part of the period, the average 
number of pages in the sessional volume of the statute book was 355 
in the second part of ffie period, in spite of shorter sessions and fewer 
days spent on legislation, an average cf 641*8 pages of statutes were 



Parliament 


204 

passed per session; and in the last part of the period the average rose 
to 995 pages. In other words, the speed of legislation has increased 
from 4-9 pages per legislation day to 13*5 pages. Thus the volume of 
legislation increased nearly 2f times, and this result was possible 
without increasing the number of days spent on legislation because the 
speed of legislating increased in the same proportion. 

8. Various causes may have contributed to this result, but so far as 
procedure is concerned the saving of time has been brought about by 
extending the use of standing committees and by intensifying such 
methods of curtailing debate as selection of amendments, the alloca- 
tion of time (the 4 ‘guillotine”), and the closure, though the last-named 
was used sparingly in the last part of the period. 

9. . . . Sir Gilbert Campion infers that it is hardly possible to save 

any more of the time of the House by any of the existing methods, and, 
if more time is to be saved, some radical reform of procedure is 
necessary. ... . 

10. The solution Sir Gilbert Campion proposes is that the House 
should delegate the detailed consideration of bills at the report stage 
to committees. . . . Apart from the Scottish Standing Committee, 
there would be two large standing committees consisting of 75 to 100 
Members. Each of the three standing committees would be divided 
into three sub-committees of 25 Members each. The committee stage 
of bills referred to a standing committee would be taken, not by the 
standing committee itself, but by one of its sub-committees, reinforced 
by the addition of 15 Members in respect of each bill. The sub- 
committee, having considered a bill in the usual way, would report 
it, not to the House, but to its parent standing committee, which 
would consider the bill in the same way as the House does at the report 
stage. At this stage, any Member who had given notice of an amend- 
ment to a bill committed to a standing committee, might, although 
x not a member of that standing committee, attend and move such 

amendment and take part in debate upon it, without, however, the 
right to vote. The standing committee would then report the bill to 
the House, which could, if it wished, recommit it to the standing com- 
mittee, but could not amend the bill itself. The bill could, however, 
be debated as a whole on the motion for its consideration, and when 
this was agreed to, would stand for third reading. . . . 

11. . . . The main objection in Your Committee’s view is to the 
principle of the scheme. The removal of the report stage of bills from 
the floor of the House would be, in the words of Mr. Speaker, “a 
drastic interference with the rights of private Members”, and would 
also adversely affect any smaller parties who could not receive adequate 
representation on the committees and sub- commit tees; and the sug- 
gestion . . . that a Member who was not a member of a standing com- 
mittee could move amendments without the right to vote, is entirely 



Working of the House of Commons , 1946 205 

contrary to the traditional practice of the House. There would also be 
the practical difficulty that a serious bottle-neck might occur in a 
standing committee when a number of bills were coming forward for 
consideration by the main committee at the same time as its members 
were engaged upon the committee stage of other bills in the sub- 
committees. For these reasons Your Committee are unable to recom- 
mend the proposal to the House. . . . 


III.— CONTROL OF POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION 

24. Control of policy and administration occupies on an average 
about 40 per cent, of the time of the House — an allocation which on 
the face of it appears adequate. But the classification is misleading. 
The line between policy and administration may be difficult to draw, 
and it is not possible to distinguish forms of procedure which are used 
for the specific control of one or the other. Nevertheless the control of 
policy and the control of administration are two broadly distinct func- 
tions, and if the several forms of procedure which together fall under 
this head are examined, it will be seen that by far the greater part of 
them is used for the discussion of questions of broad policy rather than 
of administrative detail. Thus the Debate on the King’s speech 
(5*8 days per session) is used to discuss the broad outlines of the Gov- 
ernment programme. Adjournment motions (5-9 days) lend them- 
selves to discussion of administrative points, but are often used for 
raising questions of policy; and substantive nations (14-2 days) are 
used to raise larger subjects. Above all, the business of Supply, which 
accounts for the largest amount of time under this head (32*3 days), 
has in recent years tended more and more to provide opportunities for 
debates on policy. The debates on the various stages of the Consolidated 
Fund Bills tend to be taken up with full-day discussions on general 
policy rather than with details of administration. The Estimates them- 
selves, which in theory provide the occasion par excellence for the raising 
of grievances against administration, have of late years tended to be 
used for the discussion of major issues of policy. An analysis of the 
Departments selected for discussion on Supply days bears out this 
impression. Out of 202 days allotted to Supply in ten sessions in the 
period 1921 to 1937-38, 24 J were used for the discussion of the Defence 
Services, 21 J for Scottish Departments, 20 for the Foreign Office and 
1 6^- for the Ministry of Labour. If it be admitted that the debates on 
the days spent on Scottish Departments may have been largely 
administrative in character, it is fair to assume that the larger part of 
the time ostensibly given to the discussion of the Fighting Services, the 
Foreign Office and fhe Ministry of Labour, was actually used to dis- 
cuss national issues of defence, foreign*policy and economij^problems. 



206 


Parliament 


In fine, the amount of time devoted to really administrative points, so 
far from tending to increase with the growth of administrative activity, 
has greatly diminished. 

25. While the time spent on discussing administrative detail in the 
House has decreased, the field of administration itself has steadily 
increased. Much modern legislation is of an administrative character. 
Moreover, an increasing number of statutes confer upon a Minister 
or some other authority power to legislate upon matters of administra- 
tive detail. How great this field of administrative activity has grown is 
indicated by the fact that Statutory Rules and Orders . . . exceed in 
volume the annual output of statutes. Leaving out of account the war 
years as exceptional, the number of Statutory Rules and Orders 
registered in 1937 w T as 1,231, in 1938, 1,661, and in 1945, 1,706. 

26. The form of parliamentary control applicable to a Statutory 
Instrument is laid dowm by the Act under which it is made. For the 
great majority of Instruments, the governing Act provides no paidia- 
mentary control at all. In the year 1944, 291 Instruments, out of a 
total of 1,483 registered, were subject or liable to parliamentary 
proceedings. 

27. Parliamentary control, where it is provided, broadly stated, may 
take one of two forms. Either the Instrument has to be confirmed by 
a resolution of both Houses (sometimes by the House ^of Commons 
alone) ; or the Instrument remains in force unless a motion to annul 
it is carried by either House within a period prescribed by the Act. 
In either case the proceedings are exempted business and are usually 
taken at the end of th£ day. 

28. Thus, apart from the relatively few Instruments which require 

an affirmative resolution, only those in which a Member may discover 
cause for objection are discussed in the House. Until 1944, there was 
no provision for systematically scrutinising Instruments. In that year 
die Select Committee on Statutory Rules and Orders, etc., was set 
Up 

29. . . . the opportunities for discussing delegated legislation in the 
House are extremely limited and not altogether satisfactory. On an 
average the actual time so spent has amounted to the equivalent of 
1 *6 days per session. In view of this fact and in view of the impossibility 
of finding much more time for the discussion of Statutory Instruments 
in the House, Sir Gilbert Campion suggests that part of the task of 
supervising this form of administrative activity might suitably be 
entrusted to a select committee. He suggests that the existing Select 
Committee on Statutory Rules and Orders, etc., might be empowered 
to consider and report on any Statutory Instrument in force from the 
{Joint of view of its efficiency as a means of carrying out the purposes 
named by the governing Act. Such a Committee^would be precluded 
by its terms of reference from oriticising the policy of the Act under 



Working of the House of Commons, 1946 207 

which the Instrument was made. Its task would be to inform itself of 
the various practical considerations which the responsible Depart- 
mental officers had in mind in framing the Instrument and on the 
basis of this information to consider whether the Instrument was well 
designed for its purpose and whether the method chosen was the least 
injurious to the rights of the citizen. . . . 

30. Sir Gilbert Campion’s proposal would go some way to supple- 
ment the inadequate and unsatisfactory opportunities which the House 
at present possesses for exercising its control over one aspect of adminis- 
tration. Your Committee consider, however, that the delegation of 
legislative power raises issues beyond the scope of the present 
investigation. . . . 


IV.— CONTROL OF FINANCE 

31. Control of finance occupies on an average about 10 per cent, of 
the time of the House. The explanation of this relatively small alloca- 
tion of time to a subject of such magnitude and importance is that of 
the two financial functions which fall under this head, the imposition 
of taxation and the control of expenditure, the latter has to a large 
account passed from the House itself to the Committee of Public 
Accounts and the Select Committee on Estimates. Thus the fifteen 
days a sessioif which on an average the House has devoted to financial 
control represent only its taxing function and include nothing for 
control of expenditure. 

(1) Control of Taxation 

32. The procedure of the House which is concerned with the authori- 
sation of taxation consists of the various stages of the Finance Bill and 
the Ways and Means resolutions upon which it is founded. 

33. The suggestion was made by the representatives of the Govern- 
ment that a small amount of time might be saved by shortening thS 
proceedings on the Budget Resolutions and the Finance Bill. It was 
said that the present procedure involves duplication at two points: 
that the committee stage of the Budget Resolutions is duplicated in the 
second reading of the Finance Bill, and the report stage of the Resolu- 
tions in the committee stage of the Finance Bill. It was therefore pro- 
posed that at the report stage of the Budget Resolutions the question 
should be put without amendment or debate, points of detail being 
left for discussion at the committee stage of the Finance Bill. 

34. The duplication involved in the present procedure is more 
apparent than real. The clauses of the Finance Bill do not any 
means repeat the phraseology of the Budget Resolutions nor is the 
debate necessarily similar in character. It is true that the same points 
may be raised on the p committee stage of the Bill as on the report stage 
of the resolutions, but the earlier stag # e is more suited, anjl is in fact 



208 


Parliament 


largely used, for a more general financial discussion, while the later 
stage is the appropriate stage for considering in detail the Chancellor’s 
taxation proposals and, in particular, the 4 ‘machinery 5 5 clauses which 
have no counterpart in the resolutions. Moreover, there is a certain 
practical convenience in the present arrangement. The debate on the 
resolutions follows closely on the Chancellor’s announcement of his 
proposals and the House has only time to form general conclusions. 
Moreover, they have all to be passed without prior notice in Committee 
of W ays and Means on Budget Day, so that the report stage is the first 
opportunity on which Members can express their opinion by vote on 
each separate proposal. The interval between the debate on the 
resolutions and the Committee stage of the Bill provides an oppor- 
tunity alike for the Government and the House to consider in closer 
detail the implications of the Chancellor’s proposals, before they are 
finally embodied in the clauses of the Bill. 

35. But perhaps the aspect of the matter which weighs most strongly 
with Your Committee in examining this proposal is the broad question 
of the amount of time devoted to control of taxation. Fifteen days, 
approximately 10 per cent, of the session, does not seem to Your 
Committee to be an excessive amont of time to devote to so important 
a subject. It may be that some of this time is wasted on repetitive 
arguments, but, if so, that is less a criticism of the procedi^re than of the 
use made of it by the House. Curtailment of the time devoted to this 
subject is not the remedy; it might be said with equal force that it 
would also limit the opportunities for raising new points. Your Com- 
mittee do not feel thaV they can recommend to the House a proposal 
which, besides having certain practical inconveniences, would still 
further curtail the opportunities of Members for taking part in one of 
the most important debates of the year 

(2) Control of Expenditure 

36. The passing of Estimates in the Committee of Supply is the 
formal procedure by which the expenditure of Departments is author- 
ised, but, as is well known, this procedure has almost ceased to serve 
the purpose of financial scrutiny, and is used almost exclusively for the 
criticism of policy and administration. The origin of this development 
is to be found in the ancient claim of the Commons to refuse grant of 
supply until their grievances had been redressed, a right which has in 
the course of time come to be exercised within the Committee of 
Supply itself. But the consequent change in the function of the Com- 
mitted of Supply is also a practical justification, which cannot be ex- 
messed better than in the words of the Select Committee of 1931-32 : 

The Committee of Supply is a Committee of 615 Members. They cannot, 
therefore, effectively consider the details of finance. The time at their disposal 



Working of the House of Commons , 1946 209 

is strictly limited. They cannot examine witnesses; they have no information 
before them but the bulky volumes of the Estimates, the answers of a Minister 
to questions addressed to him in debate, and such casual facts as some inde- 
fatigable private Members may be in a position to impart. A body so large, 
so limited in its time, and so ill-equipped for inquiry would be a very imperfect 
instrument for the control of expenditure even if the discussions were devoted 
entirely to that end. But these discussions afford during twenty days practically 
the only opportunity in the course of the year for the debate of grievances and 
of many questions of policy. In the competition for time such matters usually 
take precedence, and questions of finance, especially those affecting the whole 
field, are crowded out. 

37. As a consequence of this change in the predominant functions of 
the Committee of Supply, the House of Commons has perforce devised 
other means outside the House itself for the detailed examination of 
expenditure. At the present time financial criticism and control are 
exercised by two bodies, the Committee of Public Accounts and the 
Select Committee on Estimates. It will perhaps assist the understanding 
of the present position, if the origin of these two Committees is briefly 
recalled. 

The Committee of Public Accounts 

38. In the^ighteenth century there was no uniform system of public 
accounts, still less was there any method for bringing them regularly 
under parliamentary scrutiny. It was not until 1831 that the first 
4 ‘Appropriation Accounts, 55 showing the actual expenditure of the 
Navy and Victualling Boards under each head* were introduced. This 
system of Appropriation Accounts* was extended to the War and 
Ordnance Offices in 1856. In 1857 a Select Committee recommended 
that the system should be extended to the Civil and Revenue Depart- 
ments and that the whole of the resulting accounts should be “annually 
submitted to the revision of a Committee of the House of Commons 
to be nominated by Mr. Speaker. 55 Four years later the Standing Order 
(now No. 74) was passed, which instituted the Committee of Public 
Accounts, but the remaining recommendations of the Committee were 
not implemented until 1866, when the Exchequer and Audit Act was 
passed. As a result of this Act a complete reorganisation of the system 
of preparing accounts for audit was made, and in 1 869 the first com- 
plete accounts of the whole public service were laid before Parliament. 

39. The Exchequer and Audit Act also instituted the Office of 
Comptroller and Auditor-General. This officer is appointed by Letters 
Patent but is responsible to the House of Commons alone. His officers 
conduct a continuous examination of the expenditure of Departmei^s 
and his comments arising from this examination are embodied in 
reports which are made annually to the House of Commons and con- 
sidered, along with the Appropriation Accounts to which^ffiey relate. 



210 


Parliament 


by the Committee of Public Accounts. In the light of these Reports 
and their own investigations the Committee in turn report their 
observations to the House. These reports are considered by the 
Treasury, in order that effect may be given to the recommendations 
which they contain, and the Treasury’s decisions are contained in a 
Minute which is communicated to the Committee. 

40. The establishment of the Committee of Public Accounts and the 
institution of the office of Comptroller and Auditor General are thus 
seen as parts of a great scheme of reform whereby the House of Com- 
mons secured an effective machine for ensuring that the money which 
it had voted was spent on the objects for which it was intended. This 
system has remained unaltered to this day. 

The Select Committee on Estimates 

41. Select Committees on Estimates, and their war-time equivalent, 
the Select Committees on National Expenditure, have only been 
regularly appointed since 1912, but their prototypes are to be found 
at a much earlier date. For die function which they perform, that of 
controlling expenditure, was one which in the 1 9th century the House 
of Commons frequently though sporadically entrusted to Select Com- 
mittees under other names. Thus, for example? there were Select Com- 
mittees on Army Expenditure, Navy Expenditure, Expenditure for 
Miscellaneous Services, Expenditure and Management of Woods and 
Forests (including the Department of Works and Buildings) in 1848, 
and in both the years 1849 and 1850 Select Committees on Army and 
Ordnance Expenditure were appointed. These Committees performed 
functions precisely similar to those entrusted to the modern Estimates 
Committees as their terms of reference indicate: “to inquire into the 
Expenditure on . . . and to report their observations to the House.” 
Their Reports also show that the basis of these inquiries were the 
Estimates presented to Parliament. When therefore for the first time 
in 1912 a Committee was appointed with the task of examining all the 
Estimates (or rather such of them as it should think fit) the innovation 
was one of name rather than of substance. The House had merely sub- 
stituted a more systematic method for the control of expenditure for the 
sporadic and piecemeal expedients of the 19th century. 

Proposed Public Expenditure Committee 

42. The foregoing account of the different origins of the Public 
Accounts Committee and the Estimates Committee indicates the 
difference in their functions. The Public Accounts Committee is 
primarily an instrument to ensure financial regularity in the Accounts, 
the function of the Estimates Committee is to criticise expenditure on 
the basis nqf. of regularity but of Economy and sound business principle. 



2 1 1 


Working o f the House of Commons, ig^6 

Sir Gilbert Campion suggests that these two functions could with 
advantage be combined in the work of a single committee, to be called 
the Public Expenditure Committee. On the face of it, the difference in 
function would appear to be a strong objection to this course. But, 
although in principle the functions of the two Committees are distinct, 
their subject matter is in fact the same. The public Accounts Com- 
mittee works on the Appropriation Accounts and the Estimates Com- 
mittee works on the Estimates, but the sums which appear this year 
as estimates of expenditure will eventually become items in the corres- 
ponding Appropriation Accounts. The difference is one of time rather 
than of subject matter or method. The actual practice of the two 
Committees bears out this view. The Public Accounts Committee, 
though it is formally charged only with the examination of expenditure 
appearing in the Appropriation Accounts, frequently carries its inves- 
tigations beyond the year of account into the immediately past finan- 
cial year and even into the current year. This practice, though not 
formally covered by the terms of reference of the Committee, is recog- 
nised by the House as legitimate. TJie Comptroller and Auditor 
General was explicit on this point. “It is very often the fact, 5 ’ he said, 
“that the Public Accounts Committee is considering, in 1946, expendi- 
ture which was almost a token sum in 1944, and did not really com- 
mence effectively until 1945 or perhaps even until 1945 is some way 
advanced. ...” Similarly, it would be easy to show that the Estimates 
Committee frequently carries its investigations into expenditure back 
into the last financial year and even into the year before that — the 
year of account which is the primary responsibility of the Public 
Accounts Committee. And indeed it^s inevitable that both Committees 
should stray beyond the financial year with which they are primarily 
concerned. Criticism of expenditure would be almost impossible if it 
were strictly confined to the sums which happen to be brought to 
account or to appear in the Estimates of a single year. This is specially 
true of long-term schemes and projects involving expenditure over a 
period of years. Common sense requires, and the House acknowledges 
the necessity, that both Committees should carry their inquiries out- 
side the financial year which the order of the House refers to them. 

43. For these reasons Your Committee consider that the functions of 
the Committee of Public Accounts and the Estimates Committee 
would be better performed by a single Committee. Such a Committee 
would have no powers beyond those possessed by the separate com- 
mittees now, and there would be no change in the position or duties 
of the Comptroller and Auditor General either in relation ^to the 
Department or the Committee. The advantage of combining bq£h 
functions in a single Committee working through sub-committees is 
twofold. First, the knowledge and experience gained by examination 
of the Accounts would be brought to bear upon the examination of 



212 


Parliament 


current expenditure, and vice versa . Secondly, a single committee with 
sub-committees provides a method for co-ordinating the whole work 
of the examination of expenditure, for which neither overlapping 
membership nor any other method of liaison is a satisfactory substitute. 
The result would be a strengthening of parliamentary control of 
expenditure and it might be that few^er Members would be needed for 
this work. . . . 


THE HOUSE OF LORDS IN SEPARATE SESSION, 1947 

House of Lords Debates , 13 August 194J ; Official Report, , . 1996 sqq. 

Lord Ammon: My Lords, I beg to move that this House do now 
adjourn until Tuesday, October 14. . . . « 

The Marquess of Salisbury: My Lords, I beg to move as an 
Amendment to the Motion, to leave out the words 4 'Tuesday, October 
14 35 and insert “Tuesday, September 9. 53 In moving this Amendment 
I can assure the Government, if they need such an assurance, that we, 
on this side of the House, are not acting in any Party spirit or with the 
mere object of causing any embarrassment to the Government. We 
have, I think it will be agreed in all parts of the House, taken a moder- 
ate and, I hope, a statesmanlike attitude towards the Supplies and 
Services (Extended Purposes) Act. Although we have protested against 
the extent of the powers which are given to the Government, 
especially under Section 1 (1) (<?), we have been at pains not to give 
any legitimate grounds for any charge that we have made it impossible 
for the Government to use what means they feel desirable to tackle 
this crisis with which the country is faced. 

' But there is no doubt that the introduction of this legislation, with 
the very wide powers which it confers, and at a time when Parliament 
is separating for the summer Recess for over two months, has exposed 
what I may perhaps describe as rather a serious defect in the constitu- 
tional machinery of this country, which I think it is for Parliament 
as far as they can to try to remedy. In the old days, of course, practi- 
cally all legislation was by Act of Parliament, and Parliament went 
through every word of every clause of that legislation. In such circum- 
stances there was fully effective protection for the community. But 
within recent years (and I am not referring merely to the period 
during which the present Government have been in power) there has 
been a new development — namely the growth of delegated legislation. 
As your Lordships know very well, blanket powers are given to Min- 
isters to make Orders within the limitations of the main Acts and as 
soon as the^. are made those Ofders come into active operation. It is 



The House of Lords in Separate Session , ig^y 213 

quite true that under the Constitution they must be laid before Par- 
liament, and, as your Lordships know, either House can pray against 
them. 

That is, of course, some protection when Parliament is sitting, but if 
Parliament is not sitting Orders may become operative weeks, or even 
months, before Parliament can consider them. I should think it would 
be generally agreed by noble Lords in every part of the House, what- 
ever they may feel about this measure which we have so lately been 
considering, that that is not an entirely satisfactory situation. Indeed, 
it is a very unsatisfactory situation. It is to meet this new difficulty 
that we are proposing that, if necessary, this House, at any rate, should 
meet at convenient intervals during the Recess to examine such 
Orders. 

No doubt the noble and learned Viscount, the Lord Chancellor, 
would point out, if I did not, that in these circumstances this House 
canaiot pray against Orders, because Orders have to be laid before 
Parliament; and if only one House happens to be in Session they 
clearly cannot be so laid. In those conditions all the House can do is 
to examine and discuss them when they come out. That would be, 
or it might be, a useful function for us to perform. An earlier meeting 
of this kind, under the existing rather anxious conditions, might have 
this additional advantage: It might well give opportunity, if such were' 
required, for general discussion of developments in the economic 
situation since the House last sat. . . . 

The Lord Chancellor (Viscount Jowitt): My Lords, your 
Lordships on these Benches are really becomirjg very revolutionary. I 
and my Party are old-fashioned Constitutionalists in this matter and 
I am bound to point out that, so far as I know, this has never been 
done before. . . . 

The constitutional position is quite plain. It is for each House . . . 
to exercise its right to adjourn itself independently of the Crow£ 
(which means the Government of the day) and of the other House . . . 
[On] August 10, 1914, . . . this House resolved that — 

whenever during the present Session of Parliament this House stands adjourned 
for more than two days and it appears to the satisfaction of the Lord Chan- 
cellor that the public interest requires that the House should meet at any 
earlier time during such adjournment, the Lord Chancellor may give notice 
to the Peers that he is so satisfied and thereupon the House shall meet at the 
time stated in such Notice and transact business as if it had been duly adjourned 
to that time. 

Since that date alterations have been made in that Motion. The 
Chairman of Committees in the House of Lords is now frequently 
included, together ^vith the Lord Chancellor, and since 1931 the 
Motion has been so made that the Lc?rd Chancellor or tl^g Chairman 



Parliament 


214 

of Committees cannot act save after consultation with the' Govern- 
ment. In its more modern form, in practice I understand it means 
that this is done with the approval of the Government. But I would 
point out that under the 1914 Resolution it was left to the Lord 
Chancellor to act independently and call your Lordships back if, and 
only if, in his or their opinion there was some case for so doing. . . . 
On Question, Amendment agreed to. 

Motion, as amended, agreed to, and ordered accordingly. 


House of Lords Debates , 9 September 1947 ; Official Report , cc. 1409 sqq. 

The First Lord of the Admiralty (Viscount Hall) : . . . Now, 
without any further preamble, I propose to tell the House that His 
Majesty’s Government cannot agree that it is proper for the present 
occasion to be used for a general debate upon the state of the nation 
or, indeed, as an opportunity for eliciting any new statement of 
Government policy. In our view, whatever may be the constitutional 
right of your Lordships to paeet as and when you please, it would 
certainly not be constitutional for His Majesty’s Government to 
regard a meeting of this House alone, in the middle of the Parlia- 
mentary Recess, as a meeting of Parliament for the making of an 
important announcement of Government policy. Indeed, your Lord- 
ships yourselves would object, and very rightly so, if His Majesty’s 
Government summoned only members of another place for the same 
purpose while they left your Lordships still inoperative and in adjourn- 
ment. And yet, though I need hardly remind your Lordships that the 
other place is the Chamber of th£ popularly-elected representatives of 
the country, you are asking us to treat them as of no account 

Noble Lords: No. 

Viscount Hall: — and to give your Lordships information upon 
tlovernment policy while we deny it to another place. Neither this 
Government nor any other . . . can have one policy in regard to the 
sittings of another place during the Recess and another policy for 
your Lordships’ House. We could not refuse to meet another place 
until October 20 and at the same time be willing to meet your Lord- 
ships this afternoon for a general debate on the economic situation. . . . 

I should say to your Lordships that it is not the Government’s 
intention that any speech other than the speech I am making at the 
present time shall be made from this Bench during to-day’s pro- 
ceedings. . . . 

Ths Marquess of Salisbury: ... it is clear that the Government 
Sjfc unwilling to make a statement. . . . Nor does it appear that there 
is anything important to be discussed arising from the Supplies and 
Services Act, Many people will find this a little* surprising. The Bill 
was hustledrthrough Parliament with feverish haste before the House 



The House of Lords in Separate Session , igpy 215 

rose in August. We were told that it was urgent and vital that the 
Government should have the very widest powers immediately; and 
there were fears raised that there would be very far-reaching action 
indeed. But there is one thing, I think, that never occurred to any of 
us, and that is that no important Orders at all would be made. That, 
however, appears to be the position. All we can do is to take note 
of it. . . . 


PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE AND PARTY MEETINGS, 1947 

Report from the Committee of Privileges (. H.C . 138 of IQ4.7) 

[In April 1 947, at a time when several London newspapers were reporting, 
in &>me detail, accounts of private meetings of the Parliamentary Labour 
Party, Mr. Garry Allighan, M.P., wrote an article alleging that this news 
“leaked” to the Press through Members of Parliament, who disclosed confi- 
dential information for a fee, in unguarded talk when under the influence of 
liquor, or in return for favourable publicity. In the course of the proceedings 
of the Committee of Privileges, it was disclosed that Mr. Allighan had supplied 
information about private* party meetings to an evening newspaper. The 
Committee considered that he had been “guilty of an aggravated contempt, 
of the House of which he is a Member and of a gross breach of privilege”; 
he was later expelled from the House of Commons.] 

14. On any view this is a case of great seriousness. It is also one of 
much difficulty from the point of View of me law and custom of 
Parliament. . . . Your Committee are very mindful of the fact that 
Parliament has no right to extend its privileges beyond those to which 
recognition has already been accorded and they believe that it would 
be contrary to the interest both of Parliament and of the public so t <3 
do. On the other hand, the absence of an exact precedent does not in 
itself show that a particular matter does not come within some recog- 
nised principle of Parliamentary privilege. 

15. Moreover, it is to be remembered that the right to punish for 
contempt is by no means restricted to the case where some actual 
privilege has been infringed. The two matters are distinct. 

16. Whether or not the matter has by analogy some relation to the 
privilege that Members are entitled to be free from molestation, it has 
long been recognised that the publication of imputations reflecting on 
the dignity of the House or of any Member in his capacity as yich is 
punishable as a contempt of Parliament. It is true that the imputatu^n 
upon a Member to come within this principle must relate to something 
which he has done a 5 such, that is to say incidentally to and as part of 
his service to Parliament. Thus in ah extreme case concerning The 



21 6 


Parliament 


Times in 1887, 1 an allegation that certain Members “draw their 
living . . . from the steady perpetration of crimes for which civilisation 
demands the gallows 5 ’ was held not to constitute a contempt in that 
it did not refer to the action of the Members concerned in the discharge 
of their duties as such. Reflections upon Members, however, even 
where individuals are not named, may be so framed as to bring into 
disrepute the body to which they belong, and such reflections have 
therefore been treated as equivalent to reflections on the House itself. 
It is for the House to decide whether any particular publication con- 
stitutes such an affront to the dignity of the House or its Members in 
that capacity as amounts to contempt of Parliament. 

17. In modern times the practice of holding private meetings in the 
precincts of the Palace of Westminster of different parties has become 
well established and, in the view of Your Committee, it must now be 
taken to form a normal and everyday incident of parliamentary pro- 
cedure, without which the business of Parliament could not conveni- 
ently be conducted. Thus, meetings held within the precincts of the 
Palace of Westminster during the parliamentary session are normally 
attended only by Members as such, and the information which is given 
at such meetings is, in Your Committee’s view, given to those attend- 
ing them in their capacity as Members. Your Committee therefore 
conclude on this rpatter that attendance of Members at a#private party 
meeting held in the precincts of the Palace of Westminster during the 
parliamentary session, to discuss parliamentary matters connected 
with the current or future proceedings of Parliament, is attendance in 
their capacity of Members of Parliament. It does not, of course, 
follow that this conclusion attracts to such meetings all the privileges 
which are attached to the transactions of Parliament as a whole. 

18. It follows that an unfounded imputation in regard to such meet- 
ings involves an affront to the House as such. Your Committee con- 
§ider that an unjustified allegation that Members regularly betray the 
confidence of private party meetings either for payment or whilst 
their discretion has been undermined by drink is a serious contempt. 

19. Where, as here, the contempt alleged is the making of such a 
charge against Members, proof that the charge was true would not, 
in Your Committee’s view, of necessity provide a defence. If the 
publication were intended to bring to fight matters that were true so 
that an end might be put to them, then, however discreditable the 
facts, Your Committee consider that such a publication, for such a 
high purpose, would constitute a defence. It was not suggested the 
article in question here was published with any such object. 

r 20. Whether the actual betrayal of information about a private 
meeting of Members held in a Committee Room of the House or its 
publication in the Press constitutes a distinct breach of privilege is a 
1 Pari. Deb . (1887), 31 1, c. 286. 



Privilege and Party Meetings , ig^y 217 

separate and more difficult matter. Although the publication of 
reports of debates is technically a breach of privilege . . . this rule is 
not now enforced in the case of bona-fide reports. It would, it is true, 
be different if the House had resolved to sit in secret session; and if a 
Committee had resolved to transact its proceedings behind closed 
doors, this decision, although it does not exclude the right of other 
Members of the House to attend, would no doubt result in any publica- 
tion of what had taken place constituting a contempt. If the true basis 
of this latter rule is not that the publication involves a breach of confi- 
dence but that it involves a premature disclosure before the Committee 
has reported to the House, it would be difficult to draw any analogy 
with the private party meeting, since in the latter case no report to the 
House is involved and no question of premature disclosure. On the 
other hand, it appears to be clear that the orders against publication 
of debates can be enforced where the publication is made in bad taste. 
Wh^re a Member publishes confidential information to a newspaper 
for reward, or where a newspaper pays a Member for betraying confi- 
dential information which it proceeds to publish, it could hardly be 
said that either publication had been made in good faith. It is argu- 
able, therefore, that the publication of confidential information given 
for or obtained by payment, about the transactions at a private party 
meeting, cou^ by analogy be treated as a breach of the rule against 
publication of Parliamentary proceedings. In Your Committee’s view, 
however, this would be straining the rule, and this they are not 
inclined to do. They content themselves with observing that publica- 
tion of information about secret meetings of his party by a Member 
clearly involves a gross breach of confidence but is not in itself a breach 
of privilege. 

21. This, however, does not dispose of the matter. It is clearly a 
breach of privilege to offer a bribe or payment to a Member in order 
to influence him in his conduct as a Member. An obvious case would* 
be to vote in a particular way. It would be unobjectionable to persuade 
a Member to exercise his vote in a particular way: it is the element 
of payment which gives rise to the offence. Once it is conceded, as 
Your Committee think it must be, that the information which Members 
obtain at private party meetings held as aforesaid is obtained by them 
in their capacity as such, it seems to Your Committee to follow that 
if they sell such information, or others buy it, the transaction is still 
with a Member as such and the payment relates to the Member’s con- 
duct in his capacity as a Member. The information has come to him 
confidentially as a Member; it is only as a Member that he can, part 
with it. In Your Committee’s view, therefore, the making of a pay- 
ment in order that a Member should specially note what took place 
at the meeting and should disclose information about it, or the accept- 
ance of such a payment, constitutes *a transaction in the nature of 



2l8 


Parliament 


bribery of a Member in regard to what is part of his work in Parliament 
and is a breach of the privileges of this House. . . . 

26. Your Committee are glad to know that editors and journalists 
generally share their view that, quite apart from any question of 
privilege, transactions between newspapers and Members of the House 
whereby the latter disclose confidential information in return for pay- 
ment by the former are discreditable to both parties and quite out of 
accord with the best standards of journalism. 


POWERS OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS, 1948 

House of Lords Debates , 27 January 1948; Official Report , cc. 629 sqq. 

Parliament Bill: Order of the Day for the Second Reading read 

The Lord Privy Seal (Viscount Addison) : . . . The fact is that 
under the Parliament Act as it stands, if your Lordships 5 House were 
so minded, the last two years 5 work of a Government in the House 
of Commons, supported by a Labour or a Liberal majority, as the case 
may be, might be largely sterilised. ..." ^ 

Subject to certain adequate safeguards, however, there is nothing in 
the function of delay which means that that power shall be so used 
as to sterilise the last two years of the activities of an anti-Conservative 
Government. There ^nothing in that which involves a claim that 
this House shall decide whether *an act of the House of Commons is 
or is not in accordance with the mandate of the people. There is 
nothing in that function of delay which confers upon this House the 
power to determine what shall be the issues at a General Election. I 
fim now going to confess frankly some of the causes of uneasiness which 
led to this Bill. Many a time in this House ... I have had to listen 
to the question whether this or that proposal of the Government was 
in accordance with the mandate of the people, or words to that effect. 
I want to say a word on this “mandate 55 claim, with complete 
frankness. . . . 

The claim to decide whether a subject is or is not in accordance 
with the mandate of the people contains this implication that, if this 
House is of opinion that it is not in the mandate, this House is at 
liberty to reject it; that is the deliberate and obvious implication. We 
challqjige that implication from the very start. We claim that it is for 
tp£ elected representatives of the people to decide wdiether an issue is 
or is not to be the subject of Parliamentary activity. . . . 

. . . There is the point of difference. We do n6t accept, and we do 
not intend accept, that this House, entirely unrepresentative, shall 



Powers of the House of Lords , 1948 219 

be the final arbiter as to what is and what is not the opinion of the 
people. There is the point of actual difference, and there can be no 
compromise on that. In our view, it must be the elected Chamber that 
has finally to decide these issues. 

Let us examine this from another aspect. Of necessity in the life of 
any Parliament, a large number of issues must arise which were not 
foreseen or which were not in anybody’s mind at the time of the 
Election. . . . But that does not in any way invalidate the claim or 
right of the representative House to introduce measures on these 
matters. There is no question of mandate at all. . . . 

The Marquess of Salisbury: . . . The effect of this Bill is really 
to truncate the powers of this House in such a way as to reduce it, 
as a balancing factor in the Constitution, to a mere farce. Such a 
truncation of powers . . . would quite definitely lay the country open 
to all the dangers of single-Chamber Government. . . . 

. , f . What is essential, if a Parliamentary democracy is to succeed, 
is that both Parties should know that if a Government, either of the 
Left or of the Right — because it applies equally to both — with a tem- 
porary majority in the House of Commcfns, were to introduce really 
extreme measures, there is in existence a Second Chamber able to 
stop them. If that protection where to be removed, the defeated Party 
— and, as I say, it applies equally to the Right and the Left — frantic 
with anxiety, might well begin to flirt with 'unconstitutional 
practices. . . . 

. . . We on this side of the House ask no more than that issues 
affecting the welfare of the electorate, where their judgment is un- 
known or doubtful, should be referred for their consideration, or at 
least deferred for a short time ro enable their views to be found out. 
That is the whole reason for our stand for an effective Second 
Chamber. ... If the present House of Lords is not the right body to 
exercise this power, let it be amended ; but do not remove this essential • 
safeguard against extreme action by the Right or by the Left. . . . 


REFORM OF THE HOUSE OF LORDS, 1948 

Agreed Statement on the Conclusion of the Conference of Party Leaders , February - 
Aprils 1948 (1 Cmd . 7,5^0, 1948) 

4. At the first Meeting, the Party representatives agreed that discus- 
sion should embrace proposals relating to the reform of the Composi- 
tion of the House of Lords, and proposals relating to the Power? 
which should be vest«d in any reformed House. These two subjects, 
though capable of separate consideration, were to be regarded as 



220 


Parliament 


interdependent, and it was recognised that failure to agree either 
on Composition or on Powers might result in general agreement on 
the future of the House of Lords not being reached. . . . 

7. On this question of Powers considerable discussion took place, but 
the Conference failed to reach agreement. The views put forward by 
the respective groups of Party Leaders are set out in the following 
paragraphs 8 to 10. 

8. The representatives of the Government expressed their willingness 
to see a Second Chamber possessed of proper facilities for debating 
public affairs and for revising legislation. The procedural arrange- 
ments should secure to each House a proper time for the consideration 
of amendments to Bills proposed by the other; but they should not be 
such as to enable the Second Chamber to impose its will on the House 
of Commons and to force the Government to seek a General Election 
against its own inclination and that of the Commons. The principal 
organ of democratic government is the House of Commons, which is 
elected by the People. The danger in modern conditions is that the 
machinery of democratic government may act too slowly rather than 
too quickly. Under the Parliament Act, 1911, the procedure enables 
a House of Lords hostile to the Government of the day to render the 
legislative programme of the Government ineffective in the fourth and 
fifth sessions of a quinquennial Parliament. Iri the result, jhe will of the 
Government and of the Peoplfe could be thwarted by a Second Cham- 
ber which, not being elected, is not directly responsible to the People. 
The Government representatives agreed that it is important that 
points of dispute between the two Houses should be appreciated by the 
public, but they considered that- the proposals of the Parliament Bill 
adequately safeguard constitutional rights in this respect, and afford 
sufficient time for public opinion (which formulates more rapidly in 
modern conditions than was the case thirty years ago) to understand 
and pronounce upon a disputed issue. 

The Government representatives recognised, however, that under 
the Parliament Act procedure, as proposed to be amended by the Bill, 
the Second Chamber might not have a sufficiently long period to con- 
sider a disputed measure if, for any reason, the Bill took an exception- 
ally long time in its passage through the House of Commons. As part 
of a general agreement over the reform of the House of Lords, they 
would have been prepared to suggest to the Labour Party that the 
“period of delay” which, under the Parliament Bill, would be one 
year from Second Reading in the Commons on the first occasion, 
should be extended to nine months from Third Reading if, in the case 
of a particular Bill, the latter period proved to be the longer. The Gov- 
ernment representatives could not recommend any further extension 
inasmuch as the effective legislative use of the fourth session of a 
quinquennial Parliament would thereby be in jeopardy. It was further 



221 


Reform of the House of Lords, 1948 

argued that the greater the powers given to a Second Chamber, the 
more might be the necessity for the Prime Minister of the day to 
attempt to redress an adverse political balance in that Chamber by 
the creation of additional Peers, and the greater the danger that the 
Second Chamber might in fact become a rival of the Commons. 

9. The Leaders of the Official Opposition find themselves unable to 
agree to what they regard as the virtual elimination of the suspensory 
period. They feel that this would be in conflict 'with the whole inten- 
tion of the Parliament Act of 191 1. They hold that the purpose of the 
power of delay, which formed an integral part of the Parliament Act 
procedure, has never been to enable the Second Chamber to thwart 
the will of the People. It is an essential constitutional safeguard to 
ensure that, in the event of serious controversy between the two 
Houses of Parliament, on a measure on which the view of the electorate 
is doubtful, such a measure shall not pass into law until sufficient time 
has., elapsed to enable the electorate to be properly informed of the 
issues involved and for public opinion to crystallise and express itself. 
The “one year’s delay” from the Second Reading in the House of 
Commons proposed in the Parliament Bill now before Parliament is 
in fact largely illusory. For experience shows that it may take eight 
months for a Bill to pass through the ordinary processes of Parliament. 
Such a curtailment of the powers of the Second Chamber as is involved 
in the Government proposals would, in the view of the Opposition, 
represent a formidable step towards Single Chamber Government, with 
all the risks entailed. And this is an especial danger in a country like 

Great Britain -where there is an unwritten Constitution and funda- 

<* 

mental constitutional changes can «be made by a simple Bill. The 
Opposition Leaders regard the safeguard of some effective power of 
delay by the Second Chamber as vital at all times and especially at 
the present juncture when political instability is so evident throughout 
the world. They believe that there is no danger that such a poweF 
would be used frivolously. For the very existence of a Second Chamber 
must depend on its acting with due responsibility. And this would 
apply with redoubled force in the case of a Second Chamber com- 
posed of men and women chosen for their individual wisdom and 
experience, especially if steps were taken to ensure as far as possible 
that there is no permanent majority for any one political Party. In 
this case it could not be said that the procedure would operate differ- 
ently in the cases of Governments of the Left and of the Right. 

Notwithstanding this view, the Opposition Leaders considered that 
if it had been possible to reach agreement over the whole field of 
Composition and Powers of the Second Chamber, they might have 
regarded as acceptable a period of eighteen months from Second 
Reading in the Commons — halfway between the two years of the 
Parliament Act and the one year proposed by the Parliament Bill. 



222 


Parliament 


Indeed, in order to facilitate such agreement, they would have been 
prepared to suggest for consideration by their supporters an even 
shorter period of twelve months from the Third Reading in the 
Commons. Any further reduction of the period would in their view 
involve a breach in the spirit and purpose of the Parliament Act. No 
doubt the time factor would vary with the complexity of a Bill, and the 
time taken up by Parliamentary debate in both Houses. But a period 
must be provided which covers all Bills. On the principle to be applied 
in deciding what that period should be, there is really a fundamental 
difference between the Government and the Opposition. In the view 
of the official Opposition, the effect of the Government proposals 
would be to allow a period sufficient to allow full Parliamentary con- 
sideration by both Houses, but little or no more. The Opposition con- 
tend that this is not enough; and that the time factor must be sufficient 
to allow for reflection by the country after discussion in Parliament has 
been concluded and the matters at issue between the two Houses have 
been clearly defined. 

Failure to provide this period for reflection by the electors would, 
in the view of the Opposition, curtail the powers of the Second 
Chamber to a point at which its value as a balancing factor in the 
constitution would be largely nullified. To this they could not agree 
in view of the danger to the liberties of the People that would be 
involved. 

10. The Liberal Leaders had originally criticised the Parliament Bill 
on the ground that it did not provide a sufficient suspensory period. 
Accordingly, they had suggested that the “period of delay 5 ’ should run, 
not from the Second Reading, but from the Third Reading in the 
Commons. 

However, in their view, the alternative proposal made by the 
Government during the course of the Meetings sufficiently met their 
original objection, and the Liberal Leaders were prepared to suggest 
the acceptance by their Party Members of the Government proposal. 

Having regard to the measure of agreement in principle on pro- 
posals for the revised composition of the Second Chamber, the Liberal 
Leaders deplored the breaking off of further discussions by reason only 
of a matter of three months in the suspensory period. This, in their 
view, is a matter of minor importance, which should have been 
capable of adjustment. 

1 1 . The representatives of all three Parties were united in their 
desire to see the House of Lords continue to play its proper part in the 
Legislature; and in particular to exercise the valuable functions of 
revising Bills sent up by the Commons, and initiating discussion on 
public affairs. It was regarded as essential, moreover, that there should 
be available to the country a legislative body composed of men of 
mature judgment and experience gained in many spheres of public 



Reform of the House of Lords , igp8 223 

life. But the Government representatives and the representatives of 
the Official Opposition considered that the difference between them 
on the subject of Powers was fundamental, and not related only to the 
length of the “period of delay.” 

In these circumstances, the Party representatives concluded that 
there did not exist between them that basis for further discussions 
which would warrant carrying negotiations beyond their present stage. 


THE FUNCTIONS OF PARLIAMENT, 1951 

House of Commons Debates , 13 November iggi ; Official Report , c. 842 
Mr. Harold Macmillan: Parliament has, of course, three main 
purposes: first, to vote supplies; second, to deal with legislation, 
maflhly that put forward by the Government of the day; but third, 
and of equal importance, what Mr. Asquith [sic] used to call the 
“Grand Inquest of the Nation.” ... I .think all of us know what it 
means; it means chivvying the Ministers. . . . 




SECTION III 


The Executive 




EXPERTS AND MINISTERS ON THE WAR COUNCIL, 1915 

First Report of the Dardanelles Commission (Cd. 8,pgo, rgif) 

14. From the commencement of the war until November 25th, 
1914 . . . no change was made in the machinery for the superior con- 
duct of naval and military operations. That machinery* consisted . . . 
of the Cabinet, assisted by the Committee of Imperial Defence, 
with the War Office and the Admiralty acting as its executive 
agents. The Cabinet at that time consisted of twenty-two members. 
It must have been obvious from the first that it was far too 
numerous to control effectively the conduct of the war, more especially 
by reason of the fact that many of the Ministers presided over Depart- 
ments which, in some cases, were very slightly and, in others, were in 
no degree concerned with warlike operations. Thus, for four months, 
during which time events of the utmost importance were occurring, 
the machinery employed for designing and controlling the higher 
operations of the war was both clumsy and inefficient. Eventually 
some improvement was effected. The War Council took the place of 
the Committee of Imperial Defence. 1 

15. The composition* and functions of the War Council did not 
materially differ from those of the Committee of Imperial Defence. A 
change of some importance was, however, made in the procedure. It 
had been the practice to pass round the notes of the proceedings at the 
meetings of the Committee of Imperial Defence to all the members 
who had been present, and who were thus able co correct any inaccura- 
cies that might occur in the representation of iheir views. Owing to the 
great press of business, this practice was abandoned by the War 
Council. Longhand notes were, indeed, kept by the Secretary, but 
these, of course, cannot carry the same authority as corrected 
minutes. . . . 

16. The main change which was effected was, however, in connec- 
tion with the powers of the Council as compared to those of the 
Committee of Imperial Defence. Whilst the latter body was in exist- 
ence, the responsibility for all important decisions remained, theore- 
tically in all, and practically in most cases, with the united Cabinet. 
The War Council remained, like the Committee of Imperial Defence, 
a Committee of the Cabinet with some experts added. Theoretically, 
the powers of the united Cabinet remained the same as before. Prac- 
tically, they underwent a radical change. It was the Council, agffi not 
the united Cabinet, which finajly decided the most important mattes, 

1 From June, 1915, onwards, the “War Council” was termed the “Dardanelles 
Committee.” After the Coalition Government was formed a “War Committee” was 
instituted. Its functions did not differ from tho*se of the War Council, but its composi- 
tion underwent some change. 



228 


The Executive 


and gave effect to its decisions without necessarily waiting for any 
expression of assent or dissent from the Cabinet. The Cabinet appear 
to have been generally informed of any important decisions which may 
have been taken by the Council, but not until after the necessary 
executive steps had been taken to give whole or partial effect to those 
decisions. , . . 

17. It is obvious that the main questions which came under the 
consideration of the War Council in connection with the Dardanelles 
operations were of a highly technical nature on which the opinions 
only of those who were possessed of naval or military knowledge or 
experience would be of any real value. It is, therefore, essential to 
ascertain, with as great a degree of accuracy as possible, what was the 
precise position assigned to the expert members of the Council. . . . 

19. . . . Expert naval advice was represented by Lord Fisher, the 
First Sea Lord. . . . The view taken by Lord Fisher of his own position 
at the War Council may be gathered from the following extract fyom 
his evidence: 

The Chairman: I should like yoi£ to explain why you thought that at the War 
Council there were only two alternatives before you, one to yield your opinion 
absolutely and the other to resign. You were on a consultative body. Is it 
possible to carry on business with a consultative body on such a basis as that ? 
— A. I can make it clear to you. The War Council only consisted the Cabinet 
Ministers. We were not members of the War Council. ... We were the experts 
there who were to open our mouths when told to. 

Q,. Nothing else ? — A. Nothing else. . . . 

r 

Conclusions 

(0) We are unable to concur in the view set forth by Lord Fisher 
that it was his duty, if he differed from the Chief of his Department, 
to maintain silence at the Council or to resign. We think that the 
adoption of any such principle generally would impair the efficiency 
of the public service. 

[Mr. Andrew Fisher and Sir Thomas Mackenzie dissented from this conclu- 
sion, Mr. Fisher writing: “I dissent in the strongest terms from any suggestion 
that the Departmental Advisers of a Minister in his company at a Council 
Meeting should express any views at all other than to the Minister and through 
him, unless specifically invited to do so. I am of opinion it would seal the 
fate of responsible government if servants of the State were to share the respon- 
sibility of Ministers to Parliament and to the people on matters of public 
policy. . . ,”] 



The War Cabinet , igiy 


229 


THE WAR CABINET, 1917 

Cd. 9,005, 1918 

The most important constitutional development in the United 
Kingdom during the last year has been the introduction of the War 
Ca oinet system. This change was the direct outcome of the war itself. 
As the magnitude of the war increased, it became evident that the 
Cabinet system of peace days was inadequate to cope with the novel 
conditions. The enlarged scope of Government activity and the conse- 
quent creation of several new departments, made a Cabinet consisting 
of all the Departmental Ministers meeting under the Chairmanship of 
the Prime Minister, far too unwieldy for the practical conduct of the 
war. It was extremely difficult for so large a body to give that resolute 
central direction which became more imperative the more the popula- 
tion and resources of the nation had to be organised for a single purpose 
— the defeat of German militarism. Even the development of a com- 
paratively small War Committee did not entirely meet the needs of 
the case, as the final responsibility rested not with them but with the 
Cabinet. 

With the change of government, therefore, a new method of govern- 
mental organisation was' introduced. The system of the War Cabinet 
distinguishes between the body which is responsible for the supreme 
direction of the war and the Ministers who have charge of the great 
administrative departments of State. The general direction of the 
policy of His Majesty’s Government during the war rests with the 
War Cabinet, whose members, with«one exception, are relieved of the 
day to day preoccupations of administrative work, and w hose time is, 
therefore, entirely available for initiating policy and for the work of 
co-ordinating the great Departments of State. The original members 
of the War Cabinet were: the Prime Minister, the Right Hon. EaH 
Curzon, the Right Hon. Viscount Milner, the Right Hon. A. Bonar 
Law, and the Right Hon. Arthur Henderson. Since then the Right 
Hon. Sir Edward Carson has been added to the War Cabinet, and 
the Right Hon. G. N. Barnes has taken the place of Mr. Henderson. 
In addition, in June, 1917, the War Cabinet invited General Smuts, 
who had attended the meetings of the Imperial War Cabinet as the 
Representative of the Union of South Africa, to attend the meetings 
of the War Cabinet during his stay in the British Isles. The only 
exception to the principle laid down above that the members of the 
War Cabinet should be free from administrative duties was in the 
case of Mr. Bonar Law, who filled the office of the Chancellor of tjre 
Exchequer, and one of whose principal duties was to act as the chief 
representative of the’GoverriSnent in the House of Commons. 

The method of working the War*Cabinet is as follqws. At each 



The Executive 


230 

meeting the Cabinet begins by hearing reports as to the progress of the 
war since the previous day. Unless it wishes to confine its deliberations 
to general questions of policy, it then proceeds to deal with questions 
awaiting its decision. As these questions in the vast majority of cases 
affect one or more of the administrative departments, almost all its 
meetings are attended by the ministers and their chief departmental 
officials concerned. The majority of the sessions of the War Cabinet 
consist, therefore, of a series of meetings between members of the War 
Cabinet and those responsible for executive action at which questions 
of policy concerning those departments are discussed and settled. 
Questions of overlapping or conflict between departments are deter- 
mined and the general lines of policy throughout every branch of the 
administration co-ordinated so as to form part of a consistent war plan. 
Ministers have full discretion to bring with them any experts, either 
from their own departments or from outside, whose advice they con- 
sider would be useful. The extent to which this policy of inviting 
expert assistance is carried may be judged from the fact that from 
December 9th, 1916, to December, 1917, no less than 248 persons other 
than members of the War Cabinet and the Secretariat have attended 
its meetings. These include experts on Foreign, Dominion, Indian, 
Colonial Affairs, Finance, Man-Power, Labour, Munitions and Indus- 
try, Shipping and Shipbuilding, Agriculture', Food Control, Educa- 
tion, Trade, Railways and Local Government, etc. The Secretary of 
State for Foreign Affairs, the First Sea Lord of the Admiralty, and the 
Chief of the Imperial General Staff attend at every meeting to com- 
municate the latest intelligence in regard to the war and to consult 
with the War Cabinet on questions that arise from day to day. Under 
this system the War Cabinet has held more than 300 meetings in the 
past year. This fact in itself indicates the great change which has taken 
place in the work of the Cabinet. 

" In practice a considerable number of less important, but often 
highly complex, questions are referred to individual members of the 
War Cabinet or to Committees of Ministers or others. In some cases 
the Minister or Committee has power to decide, in others the instruc- 
tion is to carry out a detailed investigation such as the War Cabinet 
itself could not usefully undertake and submit a Report for final 
decision to the Cabinet. By this means the War Cabinet is enabled to 
carry out exhaustive investigations without the whole of its members 
being overburdened with the details of every question. 

Apart from the attendance of the Ministers in charge of the Depart- 
ment concerned, certain other arrangements are made to ensure that 
t]je Government Departments are kept ‘ m close touch with the policy 
of the Cabinet, and, conversely, that the members of the War Cabinet 
are kept in touch with the policy and action of the various Depart- 
ments. Mir^ites are kept of fhe discussions of the War Cabinet. 



The War Cabinet, igiy 231 

Complete files of these minutes are sent to the Ministers most closely 
concerned in the conduct of the war. In addition, copies of the War 
Cabinet minutes affecting them are sent to all other Departments. 
Besides this, the Secretariat of the War Cabinet are responsible for pre- 
paring weekly reports by arrangement with the Secretaries of State for 
Foreign Affairs, India and the Colonies on the matters with which 
they are concerned. These reports are circulated widely to all Min- 
isters. Conversely a number of the Government Departments render 
weekly reports to the War Cabinet and also to other Ministers who 
are concerned or interested. 

The working of the War Cabinet cannot be fully understood without 
some reference to the Secretariat which has come into existence in 
order to enable it to do its work. The Secretariat consists of the Secre- 
tary, Lieut.-Colonel Sir M. P. A. Hankey, and of ten Assistant Secre- 
taries, with an office establishment located at 2, Whitehall Gardens, 
linger instructions from the Prime Minister the principal duties of the 
War Cabinet Secretariat are as follows: 

(1) To record the proceedings of the War Cabinet. 

(2) To transmit the decisions of the War Cabinet to those Depart- 
ments which are concerned in giving effect to them or otherwise 
interested. 

(3) To prepare the agenda papers; to arrange for the attendance of 
Ministers and other persons concerned; and to procure and circulate 
the documents required for discussion. 

(4) To attend to the correspondence connected with the work of the 

War Cabinet. 9 

(5) To prepare the Reports referred to in the previous section. 

In addition to these primary duties the War Gabinet Secretariat 
provides the British Section of the Secretariat of the Inter- Allied Con- 
ferences, of the Supreme War Council at Versailles, the Secretariat of 
the Imperial War Cabinet, and the Secretariat of the majority of the* 
Sub -Committees working in connection with the War Cabinet. The 
War Cabinet Secretariat is built up on the nucleus of the Secretariat of 
the Committee of Imperial Defence, which provided a system of liaison 
officers between the Committee and the Admiralty, War Office, India 
Office, and Colonial Office. This system has now been extended. 
Additional officers have been added, so that a liaison is now established 
between the War Cabinet Secretariat and all the Departments of the 
Government. This provides yet another means of securing touch 
between the War Cabinet and the various Government Departments. 
The Secretariat has also developed an organisation for the rapi^ dis- 
tribution of documents dealing; with inter-departmental matters of^li 
kinds, which is by no means the least important branch of its work. 

In addition to thfe War Cabinet Secretariat there was created a 
small Prime Minister’s Secretariat to ’assist the Prime Minister in the 



232 The Executive 

discharge of the heavy responsibilities which fall upon him under the 
War Cabinet system. 

The introduction of the War Cabinet system has resulted in con- 
siderable modifications of the administrative system of the Govern- 
ment. In the first place it has freed the various departmental Ministers 
from the constant necessity which rested upon them under the old 
Cabinet system of considering those wider aspects of public policy 
which often had nothing to do with their departments, but for which 
they were collectively responsible. They are, therefore, now able to 
devote a far larger part of their time to those administrative duties, 
which have become more exacting as the national activities have 
expanded under the pressure of the war. Secondly, it has made pos- 
sible an increase in the number of Ministerial officers so as to effect 
a better distribution of functions. The new Ministries created since the 
introduction of the War Cabinet are the Ministries of Labour, Ship- 
ping, Food, Air, National Service, Pensions and Reconstruction. /The 
method whereby the Ministers are kept in touch with one another and 
with the War Cabinet has already been described. . . . 


THE UNREFORMED CABINET * 

House of Lords Debates , 19 June 1918; Official Report , cc. 269 sqq. 

Earl Curzon of Kedleston: . . . Let me begin by asking, what 
was the old Cabinet system which the present Government was 
intended to replace? . . . My noble friends will bear me out when I 
say that meetings of the Cabinet were most irregular; sometimes only 
once, seldom more than twice a week. There was no agenda, there was 
mo order of business. Any Minister requiring to bring up a matter 
either of Departmental or of public importance had to seek the per- 
mission of the Prime Minister to do so. No one else, broadly speaking, 
was warned in advance. It was difficult for any Minister to secure an 
interstice in the general discussion in which he could place his own 
case. No record whatever was kept of our proceedings, except the 
private and personal letter written by the Prime Minister to the 
Sovereign, the contents of which, of course, are never seen by anybody 
else. The Cabinet often had the very haziest notion as to what its 
decisions were; and I appeal not only to my own experience but to the 
experience of every Cabinet Minister who sits in this House, and to the 
rtjpords contained in the memoirs of Iqalf a dozen Prime Ministers in 
the past, that cases frequently arose when the matter was left so much 
in doubt that a Minister went away and "acted upon what he thought 
was a decision which subsequently turned out to be no decision at all, 



The Unreformed Cabinet 233 

or was repudiated by his colleagues. No one will deny that a system, 
however embedded in the traditions of the past and consecrated by 
constitutional custom, which was attended by these defects was a 
system which was destined, immediately it came into contact with the 
hard realities of war, to crumble into dust at once. 


THE MACHINERY OF GOVERNMENT, 1918 

Report of the Machinery of Government Committee {of which Lord Haldane 
was chairman) {Cd. 9,230, 1918) 

2. We were appointed “To enquire into the responsibilities of the 
various Departments of the central executive Government, and to 
advice in what manner the exercise and distribution by the Government 
of its functions should be improved. 55 

3. We have endeavoured to define in the first place the general 
principles which should govern the distribution of the responsibilities 
in question. . . . 

The Cabinet 

5. But before dealing * . . with Departmental organisation, some 
reference must be made to the functions and procedure of the Cabinet, 
which is the mainspring of all the mechanism of Government. Its con- 
stitution and the methods of its procedure must depend to a large 
extent on the circumstances of the time, on {he personality of the 
Prime Minister, and on the capacities of his principal colleagues. . . . 

6. The main functions of the Cabinet may, we think, be described 
as: 

(а) the final determination of the policy to be submitted to Parliament; , 

(б) the supreme control of the national executive in accordance with 
the policy prescribed by Parliament; and 

(c) the continuous co-ordination and delimitation of the activities of 
the several Departments of State. 

7. For the due performance of these functions the following condi- 
tions seem to be essential, or, at least, desirable: 

(i) The Cabinet should be small in number — preferably ten or, at 
the most, twelve; (ii) it should meet frequently; (iii) it should be 
supplied in the most convenient form with all the information and 
material necessary to enable it to arrive at expeditious decisions t^iv) 
it should make a point of consulting personally all the Ministers whoip 
work is likely to be affected Icjp its decisions; and (v) it should have a 
systematic method of Securing that its decisions are effectually carried 
out by the several Departments concerned. 



The Executive 


234 

8. ... It is sufficient to point out that during the war an entirely 
new type of Cabinet has been evolved, with new methods of pro- 
cedure. . . . 

Formulation of Policy 

12. . . . We have come to the conclusion . . . that in the sphere of 
civil government the duty of investigation and thought, as preliminary 
to action, might with great advantage be more definitely recognised. . . . 

14. . . . [We] urged strongly (a) that in all Departments better pro- 
vision should be made for enquiry, research, and reflection before 
policy is defined and put into operation; ( b ) that for some purposes 
the necessary research and enquiry should be carried out or supervised 
by a Department of Government specially charged with these duties, 
but working in the closest collaboration with the administrative 
Departments concerned with its activities. . . . 

16. A Cabinet with such knowledge at its disposal would, we believe, 
be in a position to devolve, with greater freedom and confidence than 
is at present the case, the duties of administration, and even of 
legislation. ... 

Allocation of Functions between Departments 

18. ... Upon what principle are the functions of Departments to 
be determined and allocated ? There appear to be only r two alterna- 
tives, which may be briefly described as distribution according to the 
persons or classes to be dealt with, and distribution according to the 
services to be performed. Under the former method each Minister 
who presides over a Department would be responsible to Parliament 
for those activities of the Government which affect the sectional 
interests of particular classes of persons, and there might be, for 
example, a Ministry for Paupers, a Ministry for Children, a Ministry 
for Insured Persons, or a Ministry for the Unemployed. Now the 
inevitable outcome of this method of organisation is a tendency to 
Lilliputian administration. It is impossible that the specialised service 
which each Department has to render to the community can be as 
high a standard when its work is at the same time limited to a 
particular class of persons and extended to every variety of provision 
for them, as when the Department concentrates itself on the provision 
of one particular service only, by whomsoever required, and looks 
beyond the interests of comparatively small classes. 

1 9. The other method, and the one which we recommend for adop- 
tion, is that of defining the field of activity in the case of each Depart- 
ment according to the particular service which it renders to the 
cqmmunity as a whole. Thus a Ministry of Education would be con- 
cerned predominantly with the provision of education wherever, and 
by whomsoever, needed. Such a Ministry y/ouFd have to deal with 
persons in s<* far only as they were to be educated, and not with 



The Machinery of Government, igiS 235 

particular classes of persons defined on other principles. This method 
cannot of course, be applied with absolute rigidity. The work of the 
Education Department, for example, may incidentally trench on the 
sphere of Health, as in the arrangements of school houses and care for 
the health of scholars. Such incidental overlapping is inevitable, and 
any difficulties to which it may give rise must in our opinion be met 
by systematic arrangements for the collaboration of Departments 
jointly interested in particular spheres of work. But notwithstanding 
such necessary qualifications, we think that much would be gained if 
the distribution of departmental duties were guided by a general 
principle, and we have come to the conclusion that distribution 
according to the nature of the service to be rendered to the com- 
munity as a whole is the principle which is likely to lead to the mini- 
mum amount of confusion and overlapping. . . . 

21. It will be noticed that in certain cases the two principles of dis- 
tribution which we have contrasted . . . may lead to an identical con- 
centration of functions. Thus, the great service of National Defence, 
which (whether given to one, or to two or to three Ministries) is 
essentially distinct from the function of the other Minis tries, is also 
marked off by dealing, principally and specifically, with the large 
number of persons employed by the Government in all the various 
branches of t^e naval, military, and air services. In like manner, if the 
railways and canals should be nationalised, it would be necessary to 
make the administration of this great service of National Transport a 
separate Department, whether we had regard to the nature of the 
service thus rendered to the community, or to the dealings with so 
extensive a staff as would have to be employed. In short, there are, in 
relation to such nationalised services, two distinct forms of expert 
capacity which it is essential that the organisation should develop. 
One of these is ability in the recruitment, promotion, co-ordination, 
and direction of a large body of persons of different grades and capa- * 
cities, engaged in a common enterprise of a peculiar nature. . . . The 
other form of special ability in such nationalised occupations, certainly 
no less important, but of a different nature, is ability for the fulfilment 
of the technical requirements of the service wf ' ch the Department has 
to render to the community. . . . 

22. We may conclude that where any great enterprise is nationalised 
— in the sense of being carried out, in the main, by persons in direct 
Government employment — as is the case with regard to National 
Defence and the Postal and Telegraph service, and as may possibly be 
the case with regard to railways and the coal supply, such an adminis- 
tration must form the sphere of ^separate Ministry or Ministries. . . 

29. Financial Control. . . . [We] think that all Departments should 
include in their staff an officer of high grade specially charged with 
financial duties, provided with a financial staff sufficiently strong to 



The Executive 


236 

enable him to maintain a continuous survey of all proposals for 
expenditure originating within the Department, and regularly con- 
suited before any decision on a matter of financial importance is 
arrived at by the Minister. 

30. Intr a- Departmental Meetings. We would draw attention to the 
arrangements adopted as part of the recent reorganisation of the 
Board of Trade for holding regular meetings of the Minister, the 
Parliamentary Secretaries, the permanent Heads of the Department, 
and the principal officers concerned, for the purpose of dealing with 
questions of policy which affect more than one section of the Board. . . . 

31. Organisation and Ministerial Responsibility. We think that in 
arrangements of this kind may be found one answer to the objections 
which are sometimes raised to placing the sole responsibility for the 
administration of great Departments in the hands of a single Minister. 
Attempts have been made to distribute the burden of responsibility by 
other means. In some cases, recourse has been had to the system of 
administrative Boards. We draw attention to the findings of the Royal 
Commission on the Civil Service 1 that this system is less effective in 
securing responsibility for official action and advice than the system 
followed in Departments where full responsibility is definitely laid 
upon the Minister; and we think that where, as in the case of the 
Insurance Commissioners, a Board is set up without explicit statutory 
provision for a Minister responsible to Parliament for their work, the 
position is obviously unsatisfactory. 

32. But the doctrine of Ministerial responsibility has also been 
criticised in another y/ay. It has been said that there are certain 
functions of Government which* require for their exercise a judicial 
temper and a position of independence that cannot be maintained by 
a Minister who is constantly exposed to criticism in Parliament. . . . 

33. We are so far from thinking that the importance of a service to 
the community is prima facie a reason for making those who admin- 
ister it immune from ordinary Parliamentary criticism, that we feel 
that all such proposals should be most carefully scrutinised, and that 
there should be no omission, in the case of any particular service, of 
those safeguards which Ministerial responsibility to Parliament alone 
provides. 

34. Advisory Committees. But the preservation of the full responsibility 
of Ministers for executive action will not, in our opinion, ensure that 
the course of administration which they adopt will secure and retain 
public confidence, unless it is recognised as an obligation upon Depart- 
ments to avail themselves of the advice and assistance of advisory 
bodies so constituted as to make available the knowledge and experi- 
ence of all sections of the community affected by the activities of the 
Department. ... 

r 1 Fourth Report (1914), Ch. IX, paras. 68, 69, 72. 



The Machinery of Government, igi8 


237 


Parliamentary Control 

48. . . . Our terms of reference direct us to frame our recommenda- 
tions with the primary object of promoting the efficient and econo- 
mical working of the public service. But we have throughout our 
deliberations borne in mind the fact that any action directed to this 
end would fail to achieve its purpose if it were to have the effect of 
disturbing the balance of authority between the Legislature and the 
Executive. 

It would, we think, be generally felt that any improvement in the 
organisation of the Departments of State which was so marked as 
substantially to increase their efficiency should have as its correlative 
an increase in the power of the Legislature as the check upon the acts 
and proposals of the Executive. . . . 

52. We should hesitate to enter . . . upon questions of procedure 
whiqh Parliament alone can examine or determine with authority, 
were it not that it has been definitely suggested to us that the efficiency 
of the public service would be improved if steps were taken to secure 
the continuous and well-informed interest of a Parliamentary body in 
the execution by each Department of the policy which Parliament has 
laid down. 

53. It has jjeen suggested that the appointment of a series of Standing 
Committees, each charged with the consideration of the activities of 
the Departments which cover the main divisions of the business of 
Government, would be conducive to this end. Any such Committees 
would require to be furnished with full information as to the course 
of administration pursued by the * Departments with which they 
were concerned; and for this purpose it would be requisite that 
Ministers, as well as the officers of Departments, should appear 
before them to explain and defend the acts for which they were 
responsible. . . . 


Conclusion 

55. If the principle which we have suggested in this Part of the 
Report, that the business of the various Departments of Government 
should be distributed as far as possible according to the class of 
service with which they are concerned, be accepted, the business 
of Government would fall into one or other of the following main 
divisions : 

I. — Finance. II and III. — National Defence and External Affairs. 
IV. — Research and Information. V. — Production (including Agri- 
culture, Forestry, and Fisheries), Transport, and Commerce. VI. — 
Employment. VK. — Supplies. VIII. — Education. IX. — Health. 
X. — Justice. 



The Executive 


238 

It does not follow that there would be only one Minister for each 
of these branches. Some of them would undoubtedly require more than 
one. 

[Part II is concerned with the detailed application of the principles enunci- 
ated above to the Departments.] 


CO-ORDINATION OF DEFENCE FORCES, 1923 

Recommendations of the National and Imperial Defence Committee ( Cmd . 

i , 93 8 > *923) 

The following decisions have been taken by His Majesty’s Govern- 
ment on the recommendations of the National and Imperial Defence 
Committee : 

(1) It is undesirable and impracticable to supersede the Ministerial 
heads of the three Fighting Services by making them subordinates of a 
Minister of Defence; the alternative plan for an amalgamation of the 
three Service Departments is equally impracticable. 

(2) On the other hand, the existing system of co-ordination by the 
Committee of Imperial Defence is not sufficient to secure full initiative 
and responsibility' for defence as a whole and requires to be defined 
and strengthened. 

(3) Under the existing system the Committee of Imperial Defence, 
an advisory and consultative body, enquires into and makes recommen- 
dations in regard to the issues of defence policy and organisation which 
are brought before it. The power of initiative lies with the Government 
Departments and with the Prime Minister. 

(4) This system, though invaluable up to a point, does not make 
any authority, except the Prime Minister, who can only devote a small 
part of his time and attention to defence questions, directly responsible 
for the initiation of a consistent line of policy directing the common 
action of the three or any two of the three Services, taking account of 
the reactions of the three Services upon one another. 

(5) While, therefore, the existing system of departmental initiative 
will continue, the responsibility for the wider initiative referred to 
above in Paragraph (4) w r ill also rest with the Chairman of the Com- 
mittee of Imperial Defence acting under the general direction of the 
Committee of Imperial Defence and with the assistance of the three 
Chiefs of Staff. 

J> 6 ) In accordance with the terms of^the Treasury Minute of 4 May 
1904, constituting the Committee of Imperial Defence in its present 
form, the Committee of Imperial Defence will coritinue to consist of the 
Prime Minister as President, with such other members as, having 



Co-ordination of Defence Forces, 1923 239 

regard to the nature of the subject to be discussed, he may from time 
to time summon to assist him. In pursuance of a decision by the Prime 
Minister, the Committee places on record that the following should be 
members : 

The Chairman (Deputy to the Prime Minister); the Secretary of 
State for War; the Secretary of State for Air; the First Lord of the 
Admiralty; the Chancellor of the Exchequer, or the Financial Secre- 
tary; the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; the Secretary of State 
for the Colonies; the Secretary of State for India; the Chiefs of Staff 
of the three Fighting Services; the Permanent Secretary of the Treasury 
as head of the Civil Service. In addition to these, other British or 
Dominion Ministers of the Crown and other officials, or persons having 
special qualifications, will be summoned as members by the President 
according to the nature of the business. 

(7) The functions of the Chairman of the Committee of Imperial 
Defence will be : 

(i) To preside over the Committee of Imperial Defence in the 
absence of the Prime Minister. 

(ii) To report to the Prime Minister [when he himself has not pre- 
sided) and to the Cabinet the recommendations of the Committee of 
Imperial Defence. 

(iii) In patters of detail, to interpret the decisions of the Prime 
Minister and the Cabinet thereupon to the Departments concerned. 

(iv) Assisted by the three Chiefs of Staff, as laid down in Paragraph 

(5) above, to keep the defence situation as a whole constantly under 
review so as to ensure that defence preparations and plans and the 
expenditure thereupon, are co-ordi Anted and framed to meet policy, 
that full information as to the changing naval, military and air 
situation may always be available ro the Committee of Imperial 
Defence and that resolutions as to the requisite action thereupon may 
be submitted for its consideration. * 

(8) In addition to the functions of the Chiefs of Staff as advisers on 
questions of sea, land or air policy respectively, to their own Board or 
Council, each of the three Chiefs of Staff will have an individual and 
collective responsibility for advising on defence policy as a whole, the 
three constituting, as it were, a Super- Chief of a War Staff in Com- 
mission. In carrying out this function they will meet together for the 
discussion of questions which affect their joint responsibilities. 

(9) Questions relating to co-ordination of expenditure may be enter- 
tained by the Committee of Imperial Defence when referred to it by 
the Cabinet. The Committee (subject to any directions by the Cabinet) 
will consider such questions ii* the light of the general defence policy 
of the Government and of tl*e strategical plans drawn up to give effect 
to that policy in tirrife of war. 

(10) The Secretariat of the Committee of Imperial* Defence will 



The Executive 


240 

continue to act as liaison officers between the Chairman of the Com- 
mittee and the Service Departments. The staff of the Committee will 
be strengthened by the addition of an Assistant Secretary to be nom- 
inated by the Prime Minister on the recommendation of the Secretary 
of State for Air, whose status will be identical with that of the three 
existing Assistant Secretaries nominated by the Prime Minister on the 
nomination of the Secretary of State for War, the Secretary of State 
for India and the First Lord of the Admiralty. 

(11) The Standing Defence Sub-Committee is suppressed and its 
past proceedings will be merged into those of the Committee of 
Imperial Defence. 


THE PUBLIC CORPORATION, 1925 

Report of the Broadcasting Committee , 1925 (Cmd. 2,999, T 9 2 ^) 

3. Broadcasting has become so widespread, concerns so many 
people, and is fraught with such far-reaching possibilities, that the 
organisation laid down for the British Broadcasting Company no 
longer corresponds to national requirements or responsibility. Not- 
withstanding the progress which we readily acknowledge, and to the 
credit of which the Company is largely entitled, we are impelled to the 
conclusion that no company or body constituted on trade lines for the 
profit, direct or indirect, of those composing it can be regarded as 
adequate in view of the broads considerations now beginning to 
emerge. 

5. ... we do not recommend a prolongation of the licence of the 
British Broadcasting Company, or the establishment of any similar 
body composed of persons who represent particular interests. We 
think a public corporation the most appropriate organisation. Such 
an authority would enjoy a freedom and flexibility which a Minister 
of State himself could scarcely exercise in arranging for performers 
and programmes, and in studying the variable demands of public taste 
and necessity. The authority can be set up by Statute or under the 
Companies Acts. However established, it would hold the licence of 
the Postmaster-General, and in view of the scale, significance and 
potentialities of Broadcasting, the proposed corporation should be 
invested with full authority. Its status and duties should correspond 
withjjiose of a public service, and its directorate should be appointed 
with the sole object of promoting the utmost utility and development 
of the enterprise. We think the “British^ Broadcasting Commission 55 
would be a suitable title for the^new authority. A . 

x6. . . . Wediave framed our report . . . with the knowledge that the 



The Public Corporation , 1925 241 

State, through Parliament, must retain the right of ultimate control. 
We assume that the Postmaster-General would be the Parliamentary 
spokesman on broad questions of policy, though we think it essential 
that the Commission should not be subject to the continuing Ministerial 
guidance and direction which apply to Government Offices. The pro- 
gress of science and the harmonies of art will be hampered by too 
rigid rules and too constant a supervision by the State. Within well- 
defined limits the Commission should enjoy the fullest liberty, wide 
enough to mark the serious duties laid upon it, and elastic enough to 
permit variation according to technical developments and changes in 
public taste. It would discourage enterprise and initiative, both as 
regards experiments and the intricate problem of programmes, were 
the authority subjected to too much control. The aspirations and the 
public obligations of Broadcasting can best be studied by a body 
appointed ad hoc, endowed with adequate tenure, and concentrating 
on ^this particular duty. The Commissioners should therefore be 
invested with the maximum of freedom which Parliament is prepared 
to concede. 


THE flEPUTATION OF THE CIVIL SERVANT, 1928 

(Quid, 3,0$;) 

[In February, 1928, the Prime Minister appointed a Board of Enquiry' of 
three senior Civil Servants, to examine statement? made during the case of 
Ironmonger & Co. v. Dyne that three members of the Foreign Office had 
been speculating in foreign currency.] 

56. The first duty of a Civil Servant is to give his undivided allegi- 
ance to the State at all times and on all occasions when the State has n 
claim upon his services. With his private activities the State is in 
general not concerned, so long as his conduct therein is not such as 
to bring discredit upon the Service of which he is a member. But to 
say that he is not to subordinate his duty to his private interests, nor 
to make use of his official position to further those interests, is to say 
no more than that he must behave with common honesty. The Service 
exacts from itself a higher standard, because it recognises that the 
State is entitled to demand that its servants shall not only be honest 
in fact, but beyond the reach of suspicion of dishonesty. It was laid 
down by one of His Majesty’s Judges in a case some few years ago 
that it was not merely of |ome importance but of fundamental 
importance that in a Cour^of Law justice should not only be done, 
but should manifestly and^undoubtedly be seen to be done. . . . We 
apply without hesitation an analogous rule to other branches of the 



The Executive 


242 

public service. A Civil Servant is not to subordinate his duty to his 
private interests; but neither is he to put himself in a position where 
his duty and his interests conflict. He is not to make use of his official 
position to further those interests; but neither is he so to order his 
private affairs as to allow the suspicion to arise that a trust has been 
abused or a confidence betrayed. These obligations are, we do not 
doubt, universally recognised throughout the whole of the Service; 
if it were otherwise, its public credit would be diminished and its 
usefulness to the State impaired. 

57. It follows that there are spheres of activity legitimately open to 
the ordinary citizen in which the Civil Servant can play no part, or 
only a limited part. He is not to indulge in political or party contro- 
versy, lest by so doing he should appear no longer the disinterested 
adviser of Ministers or able impartially to execute their policy. He is 
bound to maintain a proper reticence in discussing public affairs and 
more particularly those with which his own Department is concerned. 
And lastly, his position clearly imposes upon him restrictions in matters 
of commerce and business from which the ordinary citizen is free. 


THE LEGISLATIVE AND JUDICIAL POWERS OF THE 
EXECUTIVE, 1929-32 

f 

[The Committee on Ministers’ Powers was appointed by the Lord Chancellor 
on 30 October 1929, “to consider the powers exercised by or under the direc- 
tion of (or by persons or bodies appointed specially by) Ministers of the Crown 
by way of (a) delegated legislation and ( b ) judicial or quasi-judicial decision, 
and to report what safeguards are desirable or necessary to secure the con- 
stitutional principles of the sovereignty of Parliament and the supremacy of 
the law”. 

The original members of the Committee were: the Earl of Donoughmore 
(chairman). Sir John Anderson, the Duchess of Atholl, the Rev. James Barr, 
Dr. E. L. Burgin, the Earl of Clarendon, Sir Warren Fisher, Sir Roger Gregory, 
Professor H. J. Laski, Sir William S. Holdsworth, Sir W. Ellis Hume-Williams, 
Sir Leslie Scott, Mr. Gavin Simmonds, Miss Ellen Wilkinson, and Sir John J. 
Withers. The Countess of Iveagh was appointed as an additional member in 
January 1930. The Earl of Donoughmore resigned the chairmanship on 
grounds of health in April 1931, and was succeeded by Sir Leslie (later Lord 
Justice) Scott. The Committee published its report in 1932.] 



Legislative and Judicial Powers o f Executive, 1929-32 243 


I 

EVIDENCE BEFORE THE COMMITTEE 

(A) Sir Maurice L. Gwyer, H.M. Procurator-General and 
Treasury Solicitor, Called and Examined: 

( The Witness handed in the subjoined memorandum on .. . delegated 
legislation .”) 

3. . . . [Every] Departmental power, whether of delegated legislation 
or of judicial functions, has been conferred by Parliament itself. 
Criticism of the Departments either for possessing or for exercising 
such powers (as distinct from the manner of their exercise) is in truth 
a criticism of Parliament itself. It is, however, complained . . . that 
Ministers on the instigation of their Departments force upon Parliament 
legislative proposals which are undesirable in the public interest, and 
that Parliament, faced with the choice either of accepting measures 
of which it disapproves or of precipitating a political crisis, finds itself 
compelled to choose what it presumably regards as the lesser evil, and 
that the Departments take advantage for their own ends of this 
dilemma. If the dilemma exists . . . the remedy lies with Parliament 
itself. . . . m 

4. In the second place, it is trite doctrine that for every official act 
of his Department the Minister must accept responsibility in Parlia- 
ment. A Civil Servant is not responsible to Parliament but only to the 
Minister who presides over his Department, and the responsibility of 
the Civil Servant is at an end whew the Minister has either accepted 
or rejected the advice which the Civil Servant has tendered to him. 
To impute responsibility to Civil Servants for legislative proposals 
accepted by a Minister and enacted by Parliament is as illogical as it 
is unjust. Those who do so must recognise that their criticism is 
directed not merely, nor indeed primarily, against the Civil Service 
but against the system of Cabinet and Parliamentary Government, 
and is in fact destructive of the whole theory of ministerial responsi- 
bility on which that system is based. 

5. Thirdly, the popular portrait of the Civil Servant, avid of power 

and unscrupulous in his manner of attaining it, is to those who know 
the facts so remote from real life as to be almost laughable. ... A 
bureaucracy in the true sense of the word does not and cannot exist 
in England, or indeed under any system of parliamentary government; 
for . . . the word is borrowed from Continental systems of the past, 
where both Ministers and Civil Servants owed a duty to the Monarch 
alone, and could not be hjlcl responsible by any popularly elected 
body. 3 * 

6 . Fourthly, it is probably realised only by a few l^ow vast is tjie 



The Executive 


244 

mass of business at the present day transacted by Government Depart- 
ments, and how small a part of it is represented by those powers and 
duties which fall within the terms of reference of the Committee. . . . 
Civil Servants have not the time/ even if they had the desire, to devote 
their energies to the acquisition of power for the purpose of harassing 
the King’s subjects. . . . 

25. The Committee will, I hope, peraiit me in conclusion to suggest 
that the subject matter of their investigation is not merely one of the 
scope of Departmental powers at the present time. It goes far deeper 
and involves the whole philosophy and technique of modern govern- 
ment. The greater the complexity of our civilisation and the wider the 
range of our legislation, the more difficult it is for a popularly elected 
legislature to exercise complete control over administrative policy. 
The utmost under present conditions that it can do in fact is to secure 
that competent administrators are chosen and to enforce strictly the 
principle of administrative responsibility; and fundamental change 
would imply the adoption of a new theory of government. . . . 

»Szr Leslie Scott 

63. One question about the check afforded by putting the regulations 
before Parliament. Do you think that that is in practice a check of 
any real value? — .*. . [64] No, I do not think it is. That merely informs 
Parliament of what is going on in the administrative sphere, but the 
power of praying for annulment by address is a real check. . . . 

68. Take the affirmative form, as distinguished from the negative, 
requiring that the regulations should be confirmed by a Resolution of 
each House? — With great respect, fhat does seem to me to be the wrong 
method, because it is inviting Parliament to enter the administrative 
sphere, because at any rate the making of the Regulations after Par- 
liament has given the power to make them is an administrative act, 
and I do not think that Parliament can share with the Executive the 
functions of administration. You at once get a divided responsibility, 
and the Minister could then throw the whole responsibility on to a 
legislative and deliberative body of exercising functions which, with 
the greatest respect to it, it really is not within its sphere to exercise. . . . 

Sir John Withers 

in. Does it not appear to you that there must be two alternative 
modes [of exercising control after Regulations have been made] either 
by setting up some Parliamentary Committee . . . [112] or to adopt 
th^system of administrative law and form some sort of administrative 
body which should act as a Court of Appeal . . . ? — The second sugges- 
tion I could answer at once. ... To form' an administrative Gourt of 
Appeal for tfge purpose of deciding whether a Minister’s Orders and 



Legislative and Judicial Powers of Executive , ig2g~g2 045 

Regulations were suitable or not seems to me to cut at the very root 
of Parliamentary Government. It is transferring the functions of 
Parliament to an outside tribunal. . . . 

Sir Warren Fisher 

165. Assuming that as individuals we do not want to be subject to 
the arbitrary discretion of the Executive ... do you really think we 
have at the present moment as individuals effective safeguards against 
executive tyranny? — ... I do not think the control of Parliament 
over the details of administrative action is always as effective as it 
possibly ought to be in an ideal State, or possibly as effective as it was 
50 years ago in this country, but what the remedy may be, I should 
be sorry to say. 

166. From a parliamentary point of view you would agree that the 
existence of question time in terrorem is about the only safeguard we 
havq? — That is as effective as anything. . . . 

Sir Ellis Hume- Williams 

399. Well, let me take your definition of quasi-judicial decision 
(which I accept) as the power of giving a decision on questions or 
differences of an administrative and non-justiciable character which 
cannot be determined by reference to any fixed rule of law. . . . [400] 
Do you think there should be always appeal as of rigfit [to a Court] ? — 
No, certainly not. You would be referring things then to a Court with 
which the Court has no concern at all. You would be appealing . . . 
from the rock to the sand. m 

401. I suppose you mean that tht decisions are so shifting? — No, 
where you have a Court which is administering law, that is the rock. 
But if you are going to transfer to the Court the duty of deciding 
things according to discretion where "would you get? The appeal in a 
case like that is to Parliament. It is for Parliament to challenge the* 
Minister’s discretion in a matter like that, not the Court. . . . [404] . . . 
Take . . . the power of the Minister to make an Order extending the 
boundaries of a municipality. The decision there of the Minister was 
necessarily a policy decision. There is no principle on which any Court 
could decide whether the City of Leeds should absorb Morley and 
Pudsey or not . . . Parliament is the only body that can tackle a matter 
of that kind. . . . 

408. . . . This is section 130 of the Local Government Act [of 1929] : 

If any difficulty arises in connection with the application of this Act to any 
exceptional area or in bringing into operation any of the provisions of th^Act 
the Minister may make such Orcjer for removing the difficulty as he nftiy 
judge to be necessary for the pv^tpose and any such Order may modify the 
provisions of this Act 80 far ^ may appear to the Minister necessary for 
carrying the Order into effect. 



The Executive 


246 

Do you agree with this, that one result of that section is that there can 
be no Orders that are ultra vires ? If an Order is ultra vires the Minister 
simply modifies or changes the Act and it becomes intra vires? — For a 
limited period. . . . 

410. Do you think Parliament has gone too far? — No, not a bit. 
May I tell you why? We had a similar section in the Insurance Act 
of 1 91 1, and I drafted many Orders under that Section, and it is 
literally true that the Act could never have started at all but for the 
power reserved to the Insurance Commissioners by that Section. . . . 

(B) Sir William Graham- Harrison, K.C., First Parliamentary 
Counsel, Called and Examined: 

( The Witness handed in the subjoined Memorandum .) 

3. . . . speaking from a practical experience, which now extends to 
a period of 27 years, of the work of getting legislation through Parlia- 
ment I have no hesitation in saying that it would be impossible to 
produce the amount and the kind of legislation which Parliament 
desires to pass, and which the people of this country are supposed to 
want, if it became necessary to insert in the Acts of Parliament them- 
selves any considerable portion of what is now left to delegated legisla- 
tion. As classical examples I would refer to th6 vast bulk ofthe National 
Health Insurance’' Regulations and Special Orders, which run to more 
than a thousand pages, and to the eight hundred pages of the Orders 
setting up trade boards. 

I should also like to ^emphasise a side of the question which appeals 
to me particularly as one who has drafted, not only a large number of 
Statutes, but also a very large number of Statutory Rules and Orders, 
viz. the superiority in form which, as a result of the different circum- 
stances and conditions under which they are respectively prepared and 
r completed, delegated legislation has over Statutes. In most cases the 
time available for drafting Bills is inadequate and their final form when 
they have passed both Houses is generally unsatisfactory. On the other 
hand, Statutory Rules can be prepared in comparative leisure and 
their subject matter can be arranged in a logical and intelligible shape 
uncontrolled by the exigencies of Parliamentary procedure and the 
necessity for that compression which every Minister (however much in 
debate he may use the draftsman as a whipping-boy) invariably 
demands in the case of a Bill. . . . 

4. ... In my opinion, one of the most important safeguards against 
theHmproper use of delegated powers (though this applies much more 
a*r respects Regulations of a general character than ... of a personal 
or locally limited character) is the fact^that no Minister in his senses 
with the fear of Parliament before his eye£ would ever think of making 
Regulations ^without (where practicable) giving the persons who will 



Legislative and Judicial Powers of Executive , ig 2 g -$2 247 

be affected thereby (or their representatives) an opportunity of saying 
what they think about the proposal. A large proportion of the Regula- 
tions now made, e.g. regulations under the Factories Acts and the 
Mines Acts, affect two sets of persons who have conflicting interests, 
viz. the employers and the employed. In these cases the parties on 
both sides are sufficiently organised to make their views known and 
felt. It must, however, be admitted that on the other hand there are 
cases where the persons affected are not sufficiently organised to bring 
any pressure to bear on the Minister concerned and for them this 
safeguard does not exist. . . . 

5. In conclusion, there are one or two miscellaneous points which 
deserve the Committee’s attention: 

(i) At present there are extraordinary and quite indefensible differ- 
ences in the period for which rules are required to lie before Parlia- 
ment; in some cases the period is as much as 100 sitting days, in others 
less than 20. . . . 

(ii) The question of the moment at which Statutory Rules and 
Orders are to take effect requires consideration. ... As the law stands, 
there is nothing to secure that the persons affected shall have notice of 
Rules before they come into operation. Rules may come into force 
immediately they are made, and the rule-making authority having 
made them jre not under' any obligation to publish them but may keep 
them in a pigeon-hole for any length of time. 

(iii) There is one practice which is very popular with some Depart- 
ments which I think is objectionable, viz. the insertion in Rules of a 
provision enabling the Minister by whom the Exiles are made to revoke 
or vary some particular provision in* the Rules, e.g. a schedule, by a 
mere direction given by him not in the form of a fresh Rule. I have 
ahvays taken objection to such proposals and believe them to be 
illegal; it will be seen that the effect of such a procedure is to withdraw 
amendments to the Rules from the control of such safeguards as may* 
apply to the making of Rules of the class in question. . . . 

Professor Laski 

562. Have you thought at all whether the suggestion that has been 
made from time to time by Members of Parliament and others — con- 
sideration of these rules by a Committee or a Joint Committee of the 
two Houses — would be a valuable way of assuring that Parliamentary 
attention was drawn to them, in the light of the fact that they are 
made under powers given by Parliament ? — I have only considered the 
question to this extent. It seems to me quite impossible for any Com- 
mittee to get through the work # wi thin any reasonable limits of tim% 

563. Supposing instead of#, single Committee, or a single Joint 
Committee/ you grouped the*different Ministries in some way accord- 
ing to their functions, and had Committees to deal wi*h groups of 



The Executive 


248 

subjects. Do you think it would be possible then on the point of time? 
— I am rather doubtful about it. But what I feel about any such sugges- 
tion is that a large bulk of these rules are very small stuff indeed, and 
I really think that Parliament has many more important things to 
occupy the attention of its Members. I think the real remedy is that if 
Parliament does not like something that a Minister does, it should tell 
him so, and take care that he does not do it again. I think it would 
really be a great waste of time for Members of Parliament to go 
through a great deal of the stuff which appears in a year’s volume of 
the Statutory Rules and Orders. 

564. As an entire outsider, both to Parliament and Ministries, may 
I put the kind of problem that a layman like myself feels when you 
say that Parliament, when it objects to what the Minister has done, 
should tell him so? Can, in fact, Parliament seriously tell a Minister 
that it does object, in such a way that a Minister will always take care, 
without turning the Government out? — You put a point that I^have 
thought a great deal about lately. I say it with a good deal of hesitation, 
but I think that there is more difficulty about doing that than, accord- 
ing to the theory of the Constitution, there ought to be. I think it is 
more difficult now than it was sixty years ago. . . . 

Sir Claud Schuster 

666. Do you think Departments are so indifferent to what Parlia- 
ment says as has been suggested? — No. 

667. I thought you rather lightly accepted the suggestion that I 
understood had been*fnade that Ministers and their Departments 
were an impregnable ironclad against which attacks were directed in 
vain? — I do not think I meant to say that. . . . 

668. The ordinary administrator is a timorous fowl. The one thing 
r he wants more than anything else is to keep his Minister out of a row ? 

—Yes. 

669. As far as he can manage it? — Certainly. 

670. He runs very fast directly a Member of Parliament raises his 
voice. 

Sir Warren Fisher : Is he not an enthusiast sometimes ? . . . 

Sir Roger Gregory 

695. Will you look at paragraph 5 (ii) of your memorandum. You 
refer there to the power of making a rule and not publishing it. Would 
it Jjg possible for a person to be prosecuted or penalised under a rule 
wihich has never left the pigeon holes r of the Minister who has made 
it?- — Technically, it would be possible, fapt I do not know that anybody 
would ever be convicted. As soon as it is^made, is the law in force. 

696. A Cmirt might have to convict if it was proved it was the law 



Legislative and Judicial Powers of Executive, 1Q29-32 249 

in force ? — There would be some way out of it. He would be a first 
offender, I should think. 

697. That is thfe fact, that a person can be prosecuted for the in- 
fringement of a rule which has never left the office in which it was 
made? — It might be. There were at one time various provisions that 
a thing should not come into force until a certain time had elapsed. 
It is a question worth considering whether there should not be some 
form of publication. May I mention one case I know in which a 
statutory rule consisted of nothing more than an interchange of letters 
between two Departments, and in those letters there was contained a 
statutory rule? 

698. That is a pretty bad case. These things are pretty nearly as 
bad as Mr. D. . . . , who used to write his rules in a dark place? — That 
is only what may happen. 

699. It is a thing we have to deal with? — I know another case where 
a statutory rule was forgotten altogether for two years by the person 
in charge of it. No one knew of it, but there it was, the rule in force. . . . 


(G) Mr. C. T. Carr Called and Examined: 

(The Witness handed in the subjoined Memorandum.) 

. . . The ^vantages of'delegating legislative authority — economy of 
Parliamentary time, availability of expert knowledge, promptness of 
action and so on — are conspicuous. . . . 

It is notorious that during the late war the scale of delegated legis- 
lation was beyond all precedent. Indeed, even jhe figures in the table 
below do not tell the full tale of D. 0 .R.A, But it is significant, and 
perhaps surprising, to find that the tide has now ebbed back to a 
pre-war mark. In the following table the first column contains the 
annual totals of all statutory rules and orders registered under Section 
3 of the Rules Publication Act since 1894. The second and third* 
columns show these totals split (as prescribed by Treasury regulations) 
into “general” and “local” rules and orders. The sharpest fluctuations 
are visible in the “local” class owing to causes susceptible of explana- 
tion. 


Tear 

Annual total 

General 

Local 

1894 

1,015 



1895 

950 

246 

704 

1896 

1,229 

197 

1,032 

t 897 

986 

168 

818 

1898 

I , I 5 I 

200 

95 i 

j 899 

1,000 

223 

111 

1900 

995 

174 

821 

1901 

1,042' 

156 

886 

1902 

•980 

161 

819 

I 9°3 

1,196 

170 

1^026 



250 


The Executive 


Tear 

Annual total 

General 

Local 

1904 

1,899 

143 

!,756 

1905 

1,379 

162 

1,217 

1906 

986 

165 

821 

I 9°7 

1,058 

231 

827 

1908 

r ,349 

256 

E 093 


i, 5 28 

205 

^323 

19 10 

1,368 

218 

1 , 15 ° 

1911 

i ,336 

172 

I,l 64 

1912 

i, 9 J 9 

342 

E 577 

19*3 

1,406 

414 

992 

19 H 

E 9 X 4 

522 

E 392 

* 9 J 5 

1,241 

406 

835 

1916 

94 1 

508 

433 

* 9*7 

1,383 

753 

630 

1918 

1,825 

E204 

621 

* 9*9 

2,241 

1,091 

1,150 

1920 

2,475 

916 

E 559 

1921 

2,1 10 

727 

1,383 

1922 

E 45 ^ 

430 

1,020 

1923 

1,624 

366 

1,258 

1924 

1,601 

426 

Ei 75 

1925 

1,461 

466 

995 

1926 

E 745 

. 448 

V297 

1927 

E 349 

445 

904 

1928 

E132 

4 i 5 

717 

1929 

1,26s 

39 i 

871 


If I may comment ibrst upon the local class, the substantial figures 
from 1903 to 1905 are due to the Education Act of 1902; the increases 
in 1908 and 1909 are due to numerous orders for the local application 
of the Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1907: similarly the Public 
Health Act of 1925 swells the local total in 1926 and the following 
years. Other transitory increases may be caused by epidemics of 
measles, outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease, and so on, or, in the 
post-war period, by floods of “increases of charges” and “extensions of 
time” orders for public undertakings. The local rules and orders 
largely consist of some adjustment of local government law or some 
development of public health for which there has presumably been 
a local demand, the local standard being often higher than the general. 
The local Acts of Parliament are a vast uncharted sea. No draftsman 
framing a measure of general application could confidently cover the 
possible variations occasioned by local legislation in a matter, for 
in^ftnce, like rating. Hence the need for adjusting general provisions 
tcfp articular cases by some such machinery as the “removal of difficul- 
ties” order. On the whole I doubt whether a student of local rules and 
orders will discover in them a^ny serious* inroad upon liberty or any 
cause for PsfHiament to be jealous. . . . 



Legislative and Judicial Powers of Executive , ig2g~g2 251 

With regard to the total of “general 55 orders in the second column of 
the table, it is noticeable that for the first seventeen years the figures 
fluctuate roughly between 150 and 250. Not till 1912 (the year after 
the National Insurance Act) do they exceed 300. The total went over 
500 in 1914, but the full force of war-time conditions was not felt till 
1918. This impetus died away again till in 1922 there was a return to 
the pre-war figure. After notably steady results from 1922 to 1928, 
the total dropped last year below the 400 mark, though it is the 
common opinion that post-war Parliaments are not less generous in 
delegating legislative power than their predecessors. 

The absence of violent fluctuations in the “general 55 list since 1922 
may be evidence that the system is becoming stabilised. . . . 

Rules and orders which modify Acts of Parliament are naturally 
viewed with dislike or suspicion. The mere press-the-hutton proce- 
dure for the operation of a statute on an “appointed day 55 is of con- 
siderable antiquity and proved convenience; but it seems improper 
that a statute — in the making of which all of us have in theory partici- 
pated through our representatives — should be interfered with by a body 
subordinate to Parliament. Two large classes of instances seem unob- 
jectionable. First, there is the case where Parliament, instead of 
delegating some matter of minor detail to be dealt ’with by depart- 
mental rule ^r order front the. outset, inserts its ow r n ideas of the matter 
in the text of the Act and then allows the department to modify them 
from time to time. This matter appears hardly more sinister than if the 
matter had been entrusted to departmental legislation from the 
beginning. Subject to proper safeguards, it seems appropriate in such 
instances as the list of poisons scheduled to the Poisons and Pharmacy 
Act, 1908; untidy results can be periodically cleaned up by consolida- 
tion. The second class contains those cases where Parliament, having 
changed the law in general terms, allows the consequential modifica- 
tions to be specifically worked out by rule or order. The use of “legis-* 
lation by reference, 5 ’ -whereby enactments passed for one purpose are 
applied to a quite different purpose, involves textual adaptations 
frequently effected (if specified at all) by delegated legislation. Similar 
adaptation is sometimes permitted when one central authority is 
substituted for another. . . . 

The machinery of registering Statutory Rules and Orders is governed 
by section 3 of the Rules Publication Act, a provision inserted at the 
last moment into the Bill which the Law Society had prepared for the 
different purpose of ensuring prior notice of intention to make rules 
of court. 

Under section 3 the statutory rules must be sent to tfif . King s 
Printer (who is the controllemof H.M. Stationery Office) “forthwith 
after they are made, 5 il and nfust, in accordance with Treasury regula- 
tions, be numbered, printed and put on sale. . . . 



The Executive 


252 

A rule-making authority which hid its rules in a pigeon-hole would 
be breaking the statutory direction. . . . When the 1893 Act first began 
to operate, it is probable that all departments were not equally alert 
in sending their rules and orders for -registration under section 3, 
although in October, 1894, the Queen’s Printer issued a printed cir- 
cular asking that copies should be sent him. Occasionally, omissions 
are still detected, some serious, some trivial. . . . 

If it were felt that some drastic step was necessary in order to prevent 
the possible hushing up of departmental legislation, the Committee 
might care to consider the suggestion that no rule or order should 
have any validity until registered. . . . 

There is nothing new in the principle of delegated legislation. Plato 
makes his Athenian Stranger say that, though the lawgiver may write 
out the laws as precisely as he can, the test of time wall show him that 
he must leave some things over for someone else to put right. . . . 

Nor is the principle wrong in itself. If may be a breach of Montes- 
quieu’s theory of the separation of powers. If the executive, the legisla- 
ture and the judiciary are pictured as three independent and self- 
willed drivers of one vehicle, each of whom can and will apply a 
powerful brake against the others, the vehicle may not run over any 
pedestrians but on the other hand it may not move at all. The problem 
would seem to be one not of right and wrong but of balance of public 
advantage — is the administrative convenience of delegated legislation 
outweighed by loss of individual liberty or other disadvantage . . . ? 

There are two primary safeguards of individual liberty against the 
possible menace of delegated legislation. First, in respect of policy and 
administration, there are various well known methods of bringing 
home any abuse to a minister responsible to Parliament. . . . 

Secondly, in respect of legal validity, there is the judicial power (to 
be strengthened if necessary) to pronounce upon questions of vires. . . . 

Another valuable safeguard is preliminary consultation with the 
interests affected. This course is often prescribed by statute. The 
Advisory Committee under the London Traffic Act ... is a miniature 
Parliament in itself. . . . 

(D) Mr. W. A. Robson Called and Examined: 

(The Witness handed in the subjoined memorandum.) 

1. . . . The Separation of Powers is a legendary conception which 
has at no period of English history accurately described the actual 
dj^ion of authority between the various organs of government. 

'Ther-Sh-ds no immutable necessity /or any particular division of 
powers. Nor has any organ of government a vested right to exercise a 
particular function. It is misleading and 7 unscientific to use language 
which implies such a right. For example, it is common to speak of the 



Legislative and Judicial Powers of Executive , i$ 2 g-g 2 253 

c< ‘encroachment 5 5 of the Executive on the sphere of the Judiciary. As I 
shall show, the fields of jurisdiction of which complaint is made con- 
cern the newer functions of government. There can scarcely be 
“encroachment” on territory which has not previously been settled. . . . 

2. . . . An opposition exists in England between the ideas of “law” 
and of “government.” . . . The struggle between King and Commons 
has now become transformed into a conflict between the Executive on 
the one hand and the Judiciary and the legal profession on the other. 
The latter no doubt regard themselves as champions of the popular 
cause; but the existence of a State providing social services on a vast 
scale is due to the diffusion of voting power on a democratic basis 
throughout the community. 

3. . . . The scope and character of government have changed enor- 
mously in the last 50 years. Formerly, government was chiefly regula- 
tory and negative; its main task (apart from defence) was to keep the 
ring and maintain fair play while private interests asserted themselves 
freely. To-day, government is largely concerned with the administra- 
tion of social services, and has become positive in a new sense. A 
century ago, the State acted mainly as policeman, soldier and judge. 
To-day, the State acts also as doctor, nurse, teacher, insurance organ- 
iser, house-builder, sanitary engineer, chemist, railway controller, sup- 
plier of ga^ water and electricity, town-planner, pensions distributor, 
provider of transport, hospital organiser, road-maker, and in a large 
number of other capacities. 

The change from regulatory or control activities to service activities 
on the part of Government necessitates new forms of administrative 
authority. ... 

4. . . . In enquiring into the exercise of judicial powers by Govern- 
ment departments it should not be assumed that the mere existence of 
legislative enactments conferring powers which preclude review by the 
Courts of Ministerial determinations is evidence of executive tyranny'. 
Clearly the manner in which the powers are used is more important 
than the mere existence of statutory provisions. 

Nor must we assume that access to the Courts is inevitably a guar- 
antee against ministerial oppression. The most tyrannical department 
of Government appears to be the Inland Revenue, which often 
threatens the citizen with litigation in the Courts if he ventures to 
disagree with an administrative decision. . . . 

Again, another dangerous and unscientific assumption is the belief 
that immunity from control by the Courts of Law involves an anar- 
chical absence of all effective restraint whatsoever. New forms oflaw, 
legal tissue in the making, always appear at first as manife$£atioFS of 
extra-legal absolutism. . . . & 

5. ... It is suggested that criticism directed on a priori grounds 
against the exercise of judicial powers by Government^ departments, 

Sbg 



254 77 z£ Executive 

etc., usually fails to take account of four important aspects of the 
situation : — 

(1) Limitation as to the suitability of the Courts to act as tribunals 
of review for certain types of administrative decisions. These limita- 
tions may arise from various causes such as ( a ) lack of special know- 
ledge or experience of the subject matter, (b) absence of a body of case- 
law appropriate to the circumstances. The result of this is either a mere 
transfer of discretion from the Executive to a non-expert judicial body 
unconcerned with functional ends, or a refusal by the Courts to dis- 
turb the administrative determination. ( c ) Existence of a body of 
hardened legal doctrine unsuited to the unforeseen circumstances 
which may now have arisen. ( d ) Traditional lack of sympathy with the 
positive aims of modern government, (e) Defects in the procedural 
machinery and legal forms which must be used in order to obtain 
access to the Courts. For example, such remedies as mandamus , prohibi- 
tion , certiorari , and ultra vires are in many cases useless for the purpose 
of getting a review of administrative determinations. (/) Expense and 
difficulty of litigation, (g) The absence of a body of public law and the 
concepts appropriate thereto In English jurisprudence, (k) Volume of 
business which would press upon the Courts and produce congestion. 

(2) The development of judicial habits of mind and a judicial out- 
look by administrators and other persons who are called upon to 
decide practical issues. . . . 

(3) The existence of potential control, (a) by Ministers over civil 
servants, ( b ) by Parliament over Ministers. 

(4) The potential control exercised by public opinion over adminis- 
trative officials. f 

For these and other reasons I do not believe that it is desirable to 
give in every case a right of appeal to the Courts from the decision of 
the administrative body. . . . 

" 6. ... I suggest it is impossible to be satisfied with the existing state 
of affairs which embodies neither the institutional safeguards of droit 
administratif nor the traditional guarantees of English judicial practice. 

Very shortly, the advantages and disadvantages of Administrative 
Tribunals may be summarised under the following heads: 

Advantages of Administrative Tribunals . Cheapness. Rapidity. Condu- 
cive to efficient administration. Introduction of special knowledge 
and experience. Accumulated departmental information is made avail- 
able for use. Flexibility. Ability to promote a policy of social improve- 
ment. Development of new standards. Infusion of new moral ideas. 

Dis advantages of Administrative Tribunals . Secrecy or lack of publicity. 
Pogr qualify of investigation into questions of fact. Inability to compel 
production of documents and attendar^e of witnesses. Anonymity. 
Exclusion of lawyers. Failure to give reasons forr-decision. Absence of 
report of case*. Refusal of oral hearing. 



Legislative and Judicial Powers of Executive , ig2g~g2 255 

7. . . . Suggested principles. An Administrative Tribunal is the appro- 
priate body for deciding questions in dispute: (1) Where a new policy 
of social improvement is being promoted. (2) Where it is desired to 
create new standards rapidly in an unexplored field. (3) Where new 
or existing standards are to be applied or extended throughout the 
country, and consistency and co-ordination are required. (4) Where 
special knowledge or experience, or departmental i n ^omation, are 
necessary for a good decision. (5) Cheapness and sptB^Swiot suffi- 
cient justification for an administrative tribunal. (6) Administrative 
Jurisdiction should not extend to matters already dealt with by the 
Courts of Law. It should normally be concerned with disputes in 
which one or both parties are public authorities. (7) An Administra- 
tive Tribunal should always have power to act as a Tribunal of first 
instance. v{8) Judicial powers should invariably be exercised by a 
definite Tribunal consisting of public servants specially nominated for 
the Durpose by the responsible Minister. Jq) An aggrieved party 
should always have a right to an oral hearing. ^10) Administrative 
Tribunals should have power to call for documents and compel the 
attendance of witnesses, *fi 1 ) The reasons for a decision and the prin- 
ciples followed should invariably be given. Administrative Tribunals 
should publish regular reports of their decisions. J 12) Great attention 
should be«paid to the qualifications, training and experience of the 
personelle of administrative tribunals. ^13) The representation of out- 
side interests on the tribunal is desirable in certain circumstances. -(14) 
The person or persons who enquire iffio the facts should in all cases 
also decide the issue. ( 1 5) The Ministerial control over the work of an 
Administrative Tribunal should be strictly confined to directions as to 
principles to be followed contained in a Letter of Reference addressed 
to the members. This document should invariably be open to the 
public. J 1 6) In important questions an appeal should lie to a superior 
Administrative Appeal Tribunal. (17) The members of Administrative 
Tribunals should be liable in the ordinary course for malice, negli- 
gence, corruption or fraud, committed in the course of their duties. 
(18) Administrative Tribunals should in no circumstances have power 
to decide questions involving the liberty of the subject. 

(E) MEMORANDUM BY THE MINISTRY OF HEALTH: 

PART IV 

A. ENACTMENTS CONFERRING POWERS ON THE MINISTER OF HEALTH TO 
MAKE RULES OR REGULATIONS TO WHICH SECTION I OF THE I^EeS 
PUBLICATION AGT, 1 893 * # APPLIES. 

1. Public Health (Regukftions as tqFood) Act, 1907. 

2. Rag Flock Act, 1911. ♦ 



The Executive 


256 

3. Milk and Dairies (Consolidation) Act, 1915 (Section 1). 

4. Census Act, 1920. 

5. Local Authorities (Financial Provisions) Act, 1921. 

6. Milk and Dairies Amendment Act, 1922. 

7. Bread Acts Amendment Act, 1922. 

8. National Health Insurance Act, 1922. 

9. Housing (Financial Provisions) Act, 1924. 

10. National Health Insurance Act, 1924. 

11. Rating and Valuation Act, 1925. 

12. Widows 5 , Orphans 5 and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1925. 

13. Town Planning Act, 1925 (except Sections 6 and 19). 

14. Therapeutic Substances Act, 1925. 

15. Economy (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, 1926 (Part I). 

16. Poor Law Act, 1927. 

17. Local Authorities (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1928. 

18. National Health Insurance Act, 1928. 

19. Rating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act, 1928. 

20. Local Government Act, 1929 (except rules or regulations made 
under Sections 22, 26 and*^). 

21. Agricultural Rates Act, 1929. 

22. Widows 5 , Orphans and Old Age Contributory Pensions Act, 1929. 

B. ENACTMENTS CONFERRING POWERS ON THE MINISTER OF HEALTH TO 
MAKE RULES OR REGULATIONS TO WHICH SECTION I OF THE RULES 
PUBLICATION ACT, 1 893, DOES NOT APPLY. 

1. Poor Law Amendment Act, 1844. 

2. Burial Act, 1852. 

3. Vaccination Act, 1867. 

4. Gas and Water Works Facilities Act, 1870. 

5. Vaccination Act, 1871. 

6. Gas and Water Works Facilities Act, 1873. 

7. Vaccination Act, 1874. 

8. Public Health Act, 1875. 

9. Canal Boats Act, 1877. 

10. District Auditors Act, 1879. 

11. Epidemic and other Diseases Prevention Act, 1882. 

12. Public Health and Local Government Conferences Act, 1885. 

13. Local Government Act, 1888. 

14. Infectious Disease (Notification) Act, 1889. 

1 5^ Pu blic Health Acts Amendment Act, 1890. 
ibT^ubli^^Health (London) Act, 1891. 

17. Local Government Act, 1894. \ 

18. London (Equalisation of Rates) Act, 1894. 

19. Agricultural Rates Act, 1896. 



Legislative and Judicial Powers of Executive , iQ 2 g-g 2 257 

20. Vaccination Act, 1898. 

21. Metropolis Water Act, 1902. 

22. Midwives Act, 1902. 

23. Borough Funds Act, 1903. 

24. Public Health Act, 1904. 

25. Unemployed Workmen Act, 1905. 

26. Alkali, etc., Works Regulation Act, 1-906. 

27. Public Health Acts Amendment Act, 1907. 

28. Small Holdings and Allotments Act, 1908. 

29. Housing, Town Planning, etc., Act, 1909. 

30. Fishery Harbours Act, 1915. 

31. Land Settlement (Facilities) Act, 1919. 

32. Nurses Registration Act, 1919. 

33. Blind Persons Act, 1920. 

34. Unemployment Insurance Act, 1920 (Section 32). 

35. \Vater Undertakings (Modification of Charges) Act, 1921. 

36. Education Act, 1921 (Section 135). 

37. Local Government and other Officers Superannuation Act, 1922. 

38. Rent and Mortgage Interest Restrictions Act, 1923. 

39. Housing, etc., Act, ^1923. 

40. Housing Act, 1925. 

41. Town Planning Act, 1925 (Sections 6 and 19). 

42. Public Health Act, 1925. 

43. Housing (Rural Workers) Act, 1926. 

44. Public Health (Smoke Abatement) Act, 01926. 

45. Nursing Homes Registration Act, 1927. 

46. Food and Drugs (Adulteration) Act. 1928. 

47. Local Government Act, 1929 (Sections 22, 26 and 59). 

Further Memorandum by the Ministry of Health: 

3. Emphasis should at the outset be laid on the point . . . that the 
matters with which regulations made by the Ministry deal (and the 
same is no doubt true of other Departments) are almost without 
exception under the continuous scrutiny of powerful associations and 
bodies representing Local Authorities, manufacturing and trading 
interests, officers of Local Authorities, and members of the public, 
whether as owners of property, ratepayers, professional men, insured 
persons and the like. This is a point of such fundamental importance 
in connection with the consideration of any rule-making syste m th at 
at the risk of stating what is^familiar it may be well to ase^ll t* the 
Committee some of the more# prominent bodies with which to a greater 
or less extent the D&par1m«nt is in communication, formal or informal, 
in connection with the exercise of rule-making powers * 



258 


The Executive 


Local Government (in- 
cluding Poor Law 
and Rating). 


County Councils’ Association; Association of 
Municipal Corporations; Urban and 
Rural District Councils 5 Associations; 
National Association of Local Govern- 
ment Officers; Association of Poor Law 
Officers. 


Public Health, 
Housing. 

Town Planning. 
Model Byelaws. 


Royal Sanitary Institute; Surveyors’ Insti- 
tution; Royal Institute of British Archi- 
tects; Housing and Town Planning Asso- 
ciation; Town Planning Institute. 


National Health Insur- Approved Societies’ Consultative Council; 
ance. National Association of Approved Soc- 

ieties; National Association of Insurance 
Committees; British Medical Association. 


(F) Sir Arthur Robinson, Secretary to the Ministry of Health, 
Called and Examined : 

Sir Leslie Scott 

2225. I should like to ask one question about the reports of persons 
holding local inquiries. From the general tr£nd of your ^evidence I 
gather that perhaps the strongest reason against publishing the 
reports is, in your view, that the decision of the Minister is in fact 
made not only on the report but on other considerations as well ? — 
Certainly. 

2226. As a matter of practice, does he, or some other person repre- 
senting him in the Ministry, discuss with the Inspector orally the 
report and what happened at the inquiry, and his views about it? — 
Normally discussion of that sort would go on, I think. If there is any 
point of difficulty or doubt in the report, the Inspector is asked for 
further explanation of it, and so on, and those further explanations 
become part of the material on which the decision is finally given. 

2227. If the reasons are subsequently published, even in the form of 

a letter or statement, the reasons given may be reasons which are not 
specifically mentioned in the report? — Certainly. You have the case 
where the decision differs from the Inspector’s recommendation. I do 
not say that is a common case, but there are a number of such cases. 
The Inspector, who I suppose is primarily a technical man acting 
from a technical standpoint, goes so far, and then you have other 
so rts of considerations that come in, and you have the final decision 
w 05 £h, a^J-say, in a certain number of these cases differs from the 
recommendation. & 

2228. Do these cases often depend in tfoeir ultimate result upon a 
hard fight on disputed facts? — ... You do get a certain number of 



Legislative and Judicial Powers of Executive , 1920-32 259 

cases where there is dispute on the facts, but in the normal case . . . 
the issues do not turn upon that. . . . [2230] ... Of course the difficulty 
always is, . . . what is a fact, 

2231. Precisely. Is that difficulty one of the reasons that make you 
say that it would not do to publish even the report of facts? — I do 
have difficulty on that, for the reason that it is quite hard to say what 
is fact and what is opinion. If you take a Slum Clearance Report, you 
have to say something about a certain house, and what the man 
finally says is that the house is insanitary for various reasons, a wall 
may be bulging, or the drains may be all wrong, and so on, but 
someone else who goes there may take a different view of what the 
fact is. . . . 

Sir John Withers 

. . . 2266. Ex hypothesis on your evidence the Minister has before 
him certain other facts that the Inspector does not report upon ? — Not 
necessarily facts. ... [2267] .. . What I said was the Minister has to 
take account of considerations other than those which the Inspector 
has in his mind. * 

2268. . . . Don’t you think it right that at some stage or another 
the people interested should have the right to criticise that material ? — 
I do not think so at alh This material is very often pure policy. . . . 


n * 

THE REPORT OF THE COI&VOTTEE 


Cmd. 4sOSOs 1932 . 

SECTION I.— INTRODUCTORY 

5. . . We do not doubt that in the exercise of the judicial and quasi- 
judicial powers of Ministers justice is as a general rule substantially 
done; but . . . justice is not enough. What people want is security 
for justice, and the only security for justice is Law, publicly 
administered. 

Great stress has been laid on this public need by the Lord Chief 
Justice in The New Despotism. . . . We regard [this] as a warning 
against possible dangers of great gravity towards which he discerns 
an existing tendency to drift. We are very much alive both to the 
presence of such dangers and to their gravity if not checked . . . But . . , 
we see nothing to justify any lowering of the country’s higJjj^iniotTof 
its Civil Service or any refle^fton on its sense of justice, or any ground 
for a belief that our constitutional machinery is developing in direc- 
tions which are fundamentally wrong. Our Report dra^vs attention to 



26 o 


The Executive 


certain parts of that machinery, which are capable of improvement, 
and certain aspects of its working where specific safeguards are needed. 
At the same time we say deliberately that there is no ground for public 
fear, if the right precautions are taken. . . . 

SECTION II.— DELEGATED LEGISLATION 

2 . ... It is indeed difficult in theory and impossible in practice to 
draw a precise dividing line between the legislative on the one hand 
and the purely administrative on the other. . . . 

, . . Indeed, to exclude “administrative” regulations from any 
system of safeguards to be adopted in regard to delegated legislation 
would be dangerous; for to do so might let in the very evils against 
which safeguards are designed. Executive discretion, uncontrolled by 
safeguards, may easily become a cloak for those very powers of arbi- 
trary legislation or judicial decision feared by those critics who describe 
our Civil Service as “the Bureaucracy” and think of it as “the new 
despotism.” ... 

4. . . .We doubt . . . whether Parliament itself has fully realised 
how extensive the practice of delegation has become, or the extent to 
which it has surrendered its own functions in the process, or how 
easily the practice might be abused ... * ^ 

6. Delegated legislation by Ministers of the Crown invariably takes 
one of two forms : 

(a) the statutory Order in Council; 

(b) the departmental regulations . . . 

12. . . . [A] system of delegated legislation is indispensable. Indeed, 
the critics of the system do not seek to deny its necessity in some form. 
Their complaint lies rather against the volume and character of dele- 
gated legislation than against the practice of delegation itself. . . . 
We... think it may be convenient to summarise the main criticisms. . . . 

(1) Acts of Parliament may be passed only in skeleton form and 
[contain] only the barest general principles. Other matters of principle, 
transcending procedure and the details of administration, matters 
which closely affect the rights and property of the subject, may be 
left to be worked out in the Departments, with the result that laws 
are promulgated which have not been made by, and get little super- 
vision from Parliament. . . . 

(2) The facilities afforded to Parliament to scrutinise and control 
the exercise of powers delegated to Ministers are inadequate. There 
is < T3ftan ggrj fiat the servant may be transformed into the master. 

(3) Delegated powers may be so wicK^as to deprive the citizen of 
protection by the Courts against action ky the ^Executive which is 
harsh, or unreasonable. 



Legislative and Judicial Powers of Executive , ig2g-j2 261 

(4) The delegated power may be s© loosely defined that the area it 
is intended to cover cannot be clearly known, and it is said that uncer- 
tainty of this kind is unfair to those affected. 

(5) While provision is usually made (a) for reasonable public 
notice, and (b) for consultation in advance with the interests affected 
where they are organised, this is not always practicable, particularly 
where the public affected is general andh^ot special and organised. 

(6) The privileged position of the Grown as against the subject in 
legal proceedings places the latter at a definite disadvantage in obtain- 
ing redress in the Courts for illegal actions committed under the 
authority of delegated legislation. 

Each of these criticisms is important, but they do not destroy the 
case for delegated legislation. . . . What the system lacks is coherence 
and uniformity in operation. . . . 

SECTION III.— JUDICIAL OR QUASI-JUDICIAL DECISION 

2. ... A 4 ‘quasi-judicial 5 5 decision is . . . one which has some of the 
attributes of a judicial decision, but noffall. . . . 

A true judicial decision presupposes an existing dispute between 
two or more parties, and then involves four requisites : 

(1) the presentation (not necessarily orally) of their case by the 
parties to the dispute; (2) if the dispute between th£m is a question of 
fact, the ascertainment of the fact by means of evidence . . .; (3) if 
the dispute between them is a question 6f law. the submission of legal 
argument by the parties; and (4) a decision^ which disposes of the 
whole matter by a finding upon the facts in dispute and an application 
of the law of the land to the facts so found, including where required 
a ruling upon any disputed question of law. 

A quasi-judicial decision equally presupposes an existing dispute 
between two or more parties and involves 'Y< and (2), but does nof 
necessarily involve (3), and never involves (4). The place of (4) is in 
fact taken by administrative action, the character of which is deter- 
mined by the Minister’s free choice. . . . 

3. . . . [Although] “natural justice” does not fall within those 
definite and well-recognised rules of law which English Courts of 
Law enforce, we think it is beyond doubt that there are certain canons 
of judicial conduct to which all tribunals and persons who have to 
give judicial or quasi-judicial, decisions ought to conform. The prin- 
ciples on which they rest are we think implicit in the rule of law. . . . 

(i) The first and most fundamental principle of natural justice js 
that a man may not be a judge in his own cause. . . . m 

... It goes without saying tfa # at in no case in which a Minister has a 
pecuniary or any otl^sr similar interest in a decision, . . . should he 
exercise either judicial or quasi-judicial functions. . . . • 



262 


The Executive 


But disqualifying interest is not confined to pecuniary interest. . . . 
Indeed, we think it is clear that bias from strong and sincere conviction 
as to public policy may operate as a more serious disqualification than 
pecuniary interest. . . . [The] bias to which a public-spirited man is 
subjected if he adjudicates in any case in which he is interested on 
public grounds is more subtle and less easy for him to detect and 
resist. ... / 

. . .We think that in any case in which the Minister’s Department 
would naturally approach the issue to be determined with a desire 
that the decision should go one way rather than another, . . . Parlia- 
ment would do well ... to provide that the Minister himself should 
not be the judge, but that the case should be decided by an independent 
tribunal. . . . 

The application of the principle which we have just enunciated as 
to quasi-judicial decision is not so easy, since a quasi-judicial decision 
ultimately turns upon administrative policy for which an executive 
Minister should normally be responsible. ... * 

(ii) The second principle of natural justice is one which has two 
aspects . . . No party ought to be condemned unheard; and if his right 
to be heard is to be a reality, he must know in good time the case 
which he has to meet. But on neither branch of this principle can any 
particular procedure ... be regarded as furfdamental. r 

(iii) It may well be argued that there is a third principle of natural 
justice, namely, that a party is entitled to know the reason for the 
decision, be it judicial or quasi-judicial. . . . 

(iv) Some judges ha^e discerned a fourth principle of natural jus- 
tice . . . : that when Parliament has provided for what amounts to an 
oral hearing by the method of a “public inquiry,” local or otherwise, 
held before an inspector appointed for the purpose by the Minister, 
as a means of guidance to the Minister in his decision ... it is contrary 
'to natural justice that the inspector’s report upon the inquiry should 
not be made available to the parties so heard. . . . 

4. Decisions which are purely administrative stand on a wholly 
different footing from quasi-judicial as well as from judicial decisions 
and must be distinguished accordingly. . . . [There] is no legal obliga- 
tion ... to consider and weigh submissions and arguments, or to 
collate any evidence, or to solve any issue. The grounds upon which 
[the person deciding] acts, and the means which he takes to inform 
himself before acting, are left entirely to his discretion. . . . 

But even a large number of administrative decisions may and do 
involve, in greater or less degree, at some stage in the procedure which 
eventuate* in executive action, certain of the attributes of a judicial 
decision. Indeed generally speaking a quasi-judicial decision is only an 
administrative decision, some si^ge or sorfe element of which possesses 
judicial characteristics. . . . 



Legislative and Judicial Powers of Executive , ig2g-g>2 263 

9. It is obvious that the separation *of powers is prima facie the guid- 
ing principle by which Parliament when legislating should allocate 
the executive and judicial tasks involved in its legislative plan. If the 
statute is in general concerned with administration, an executive 
Department should be entrusted with its execution; but if the measure 
is one in which justiciable issues will be Raised in the course of carrying 
the Act into effect, . . . then prima facie that part of the task should be 
separated from the rest, and reserved for decision by a Court of Law — 
whether ordinary or specialised, as in the circumstances Parliament 
may think right. 

It is only on special grounds that judicial functions should be 
assigned by Parliament to Ministers or Ministerial Tribunals. . . . 

But quasi-judicial decisions stand on a different footing. The pre- 
sumption as to the correct legislative course is the other way; for a 
decision which ultimately turns on administrative policy should 
normally be taken by the executive Minister. . . . 

m.HVe do not think that any will dispute that the jurisdiction of the 
High Court of Justice to quash the proceedings of inferior courts is 
important, and that its . . . jurisdiction should be no less vigilantly 
exercised in the case of a Minister or Ministerial Tribunal. . . . 

The scope of the High Court’s supervision is well established by law. 
If a properly constituted inferior tribunal has exercised the jurisdiction 
entrusted to it in good faith, not influenced by extraneous or irrelevant 
considerations, and not arbitrarily or illegally, the High Court cannot 
interfere. When exercising its supervisory powers the High Court is 
not sitting as a Court of Appeal from the Tribunal, but it has power to 
prevent the usurpation or mistaken Assumption by the Tribunal of a 
jurisdiction beyond that given to it by law, and to ensure that its 
decisions are judicial in character by compelling it to avoid extraneous 
considerations in arriving at its conclusion, and to confine itself to 
decision of the points which are in issue before it. Likewise a Minister 
or Ministerial Tribunal is not autocratic but is an inferior tribunal sub- 
ject to the jurisdiction which the Court of King’s Bench for centuries, 
and the High Court since the Judicature Acts, has exercised over such 
tribunals. That the jurisdiction extends to quasi-judicial, as well as 
to judicial functions, was expressly decided by the House of Lords in 
Minister of Health v. The King {on the Prosecution of Taffe ) . 

We regard as essential the maintenance of this jurisdiction, and a 
simple and cheap access to the High Court in order to invoke it. . . . 

19. Mr. W. A Robson has put before us detailed proposals for the 
establishment of a system of administrative Courts and administrate 
Law independent of Ministers.^. . . We have considered thc^exp^ii- 
ency, but interesting as they arfc, we cannot recommend their adoption ; 
in our view they are irtconsisffent with the sovereignty of Parliament and 
the supremacy of the Law. . . . 



The Executive 


264 

A regularised system of administrative Courts and administrative 
Law, such as Mr. Robson proposes, would involve the abolition of both 
the supervisory and the appellate jurisdiction of the High Court in 
matters pertaining to administration; and we believe that it would 
result in the withdrawal to a great extent of those judicial activities, 
which are inseparable from/ administration, from the influence of 
public opinion. / 

We, therefore, without hesitation advise against its adoption. 

The Lord Chief Justice has himself expressed the opinion in Ch. Ill 
of The New Despotism that “droit odministratif ” is completely opposed 
to the first principles of our Constitution. 

The truth of this observation is clearly illustrated by the history of 
the system of administrative Law existing in modern France. . . . 


ANNEX V 

NOTE BY PROFESSOR LASKI ON THE JUDICIAL 
INTERPRETATION OF STATUTES 

I wholly concur . . . that it is undesirable to transfer the interpretation of 
statutes which define and control the administrative process ^ . to special 

Courts. . . . But thfs is not to say that the methods of interpretation now used 
by the Courts are satisfactory. . . . 

. . . The canons of the historic method now operative seem to me defective 
in a number of particulars ; (1) they exaggerate the degree to which the inten- 
tion of Parliament may fee discovered from the words of a statute; (2) they 
underestimate the degree to which/* the personality of the judge, what Mr. 
Justice Holmes has called his 4 inarticulate major premiss”, plays a part in 
determining the intention he attributes to Parliament; (3) they exaggerate 
both the certainty and the universality of the Common Law as a body of 
^principles applicable, in the absence of statute, to all possible cases ; (4) they 
minimise the possibility that the judge can, in his work of interpretation, fully 
operate the principle of Heydorts case [1584] and consider the evil the statute 
was intended to remedy so that their construction may suppress the mischief 
and advance the remedy. They thus make the task of considering the relation- 
ship of statutes, especially in the realm of great social experiments, to the social 
welfare they are intended to promote one in which the end involved may 
easily become unduly narrowed either by reason of the unconscious assump- 
tions of the judge, or because he is observing principles of interpretation 
devised to suit interests we are no longer concerned to protect in the same 
degree as formerly. . . . 

. . . Legislation construed by the historic canons of analysis which our Courts 
TSippt is too often so interpreted as to defeat the real intention of the legisla- 
tor . . rrSuggest that the method of interpretation should be less analytical 
and more functional in character; it shoula seek to discover the effect of the 
legislative precept in action so asrto give ful? weighf to the social value it is 
intended to sdfure. . . . 



265 


Treasury Control and the Civil Service, igji 

ANNEX VI 

NOTE BY MISS ELLEN WILKINSON ON DELEGATED 
LEGISLATION 

While agreeing generally with this report I would like to add a note regard- 
ing the tone of certain passages which rather give the impression that the 
delegating of legislation is a necessary evil, inevitable in the present state of 
pressure on parliamentary time, but nevertheless a tendency to be watched 
with misgiving and carefully safeguarded. 

I feel that in the conditions of the modern state, which not only has to 
undertake immense new social services, but which before long may be respon- 
sible for the greater part of the industrial and commercial activities of the 
country, the practice of Parliament delegating legislation and the power to 
make regulations, instead of being grudgingly conceded, ought to be widely 
extended, and new ways devised to facilitate the process. . . . 


TREASURY CONTROL AND THE CIVIL SERVICE, 1931 

Report of the Royal Commission on the Civil Service ( Cmd . j } 909. 1931) 

18. The control exercised by the Treasury over the Service depends 
on and has <^&veloped out 'of the power of the purse, and in particular 
out of the responsibility for the presentation to Parliament of the 
Estimates for the Civil and Revenue Departments. Several other 
factors have assisted the tendency to centralise in the Treasury a general 
supervision over the personnel of the Service. J^yaiong these factors are 
the extension of classes common to the Service whose conditions of 
service must be regulated by some central body, the need for improved 
organisation in Departments called upon to carry out business of 
increasing volume and complexity, and the greater attention paid to 
staff questions generally. Since 1919, staff matters have been dealt with 
by a special branch of the Treasury, known as the Establishments 
Department, whose consent is required to the numbers, grading, 
remuneration and conditions of service of all Civil Service staffs.. 

19. Further, as a result of its special constitutional position, it has 
for many years been the practice for the Treasury, of which the Prime 
Minister as First Lord is the titular head, to deal with matters affecting 
the Civil Service as a wdiole. Under the Orders in Council of 22nd 
July, 1920, power was expressly conferred on the ireasury to make 
regulations for controlling the conduct of Y our Majesty s civil estab- 
lishments, and providing for the classification, remuneration and othe^ 
conditions of service of all persons employed therein. . . . Within 'She 
limits of such regulations macJe by the Treasury, Heads of Depart- 
ments remain free to issue detailed rules for the administration of their 
own Departments. 



266 


The Executive 


20. Another important change was made in 1920, when the Govern- 
ment of the day affirmed the principle of requiring the consent of the 
Prime Minister to the appointment of permanent Heads of Depart- 
ments, their deputies, principal financial officers, and principal estab- 
lishment officers. It is now the duty of the Permanent Secretary to the 
Treasury, when a vacancy arises in any of these posts, to submit advice 
for the consideration of the Prime and of the Minister of the Depart- 
ment in which the vacancy occurs. 

587. The Staff side of the National Council made the following 
criticisms of the existing system: that Treasury control in staff matters 
was severe; that the control was exercised not only at the stage when 
departmental and ministerial proposals involving expenditure were 
considered prior to submission to the Cabinet or Parliament, but sub- 
sequently in regard to the detailed expenditure of the money; that the 
Treasury’s scrutiny of expenditure was unimaginative and destructive 
and gave rise to friction between the Treasury and Departments and 
that this friction militated against efficiency. 

589. The criticisms of Treasury control made by the Staff side were 
not borne out by the official evidence. We were told by permanent 
Heads of Departments and other official witnesses that, while their 
proposals were not always agreed to by the Treasury, in general they 
were satisfied that their proposals received full and fair consideration. 
We were informed that, whereas not many years ago it was the prac- 
tice for negotiations between Departments to be carried out mainly in 
writing, to-day the establishment officers of Departments met and 
consulted at frequent ^intervals with their opposite numbers in the 
Establishments Department of thfe Treasury. In his evidence before us, 
the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury claimed that, while in the 
past there had been a good deal of friction between the Treasury and 
Departments, matters now worked far more smoothly. He also referred 
to the close contact between permanent Heads of Departments on all 
major issues. 

590. Our conclusion is that the system of Treasury control in staff 
matters is, in the main, satisfactory, and that there is no justification 
for any general relaxation of the present system of control, or for any 
proposal to remove the control of staff matters from the Treasury to 
some other Department. . . . 



267 


Local Government Expenditure , 1332 

LOCAL GOVERNMENT EXPENDITURE, 1932 

Report of the Committee on Local Expenditure (. England and Wales) ( Cmd „ 

4,200, 1932) ” * 

7. The following table shows the total revenue expenditure of Local 
Authorities in England and Wales on all services, except trading 
undertakings, falling on rates and grants. ... o 


Expenditure falling on rates and grants 


Tear ending 

Rates 

Grants 

Total 

31 March 

£ 

£ 

£ 

1920 

1 13,089,416 

47,912,453 

161,001,869 

1921 


61,922,356 

2I 3> 829, 074 

1922 

160,163,899 

73,709,956 

233^73,855 

1923 

151,078,001 

72,791,346 

223,869,347 

1^24 

140,006,325 

75,197,868 

215,204,193 

1925 

I 43 » 95 I >377 

77=473,905 

221,425,282 

1926 

x 5 °» 583.323 

80,032,595 

230,615,918 

1927 

i 63 . 3 ° 7.732 

82,7^4,444 

246,066,176 

1928 

160,413,911 

85,860,680 

246,274,591 

1929 

163,601, {96 

89,022,042 

252,623,238 

193° • 

154,888,952 

107,463,251 

* 262,352,203 


8. It will be seen . . . that the principal heads of expenditure falling 


on rates and grants in the year 1929-30 were as follows: 

£ 

1. Education 79,685,166 

2. Highways and Bridges 48,470,092 

3. Public Health (including the sanitary services, lunacy and 

mental deficiency) 42,678,884 

4. Relief of the Poor 31,457,884"* 

5* Pokce 20,899,587 

6. Housing 13,927,407 


10. . . . The figures . . . show a growth in Local Government expendi- 
ture and in Local Government commitments which must call for very 
serious thought and indicate that a very heavy burden has been placed 
on the private citizen. 

We recognise that both the Central Government and the Local 
Authorities have to bear responsibility for what has taken place and, 
if economy is to be effected, it will be necessary not only that th^ 
Central Government should refrain from placing fresh burdens ! »on'^cie 
country but that the Local Authorities themselves should review the 
whole field of their activities and tighten up their administration. 

Since the War there has been a steady stream of legislation giving 



268 


The Executive 


Local Authorities fresh powers 'and imposing fresh duties and obliga- 
tions upon them. There have been Acts, Orders, or Regulations deal- 
ing with Housing, Education, Agriculture, Public Health, Mental 
Deficiency, Roads, and almost every subject affecting Local Govern- 
ment. 

When a new duty is imposed on or a new function assigned to Local 
Authorities by Parliament under the general jurisdiction of a Govern- 
ment Department, that Department is expected to give effect to the 
wishes of Parliament, and proceeds to persuade and at times to apply 
pressure to Local Authorities to take action. In this process there is 
sometimes a tendency to aim at perfection and uniformity and inade- 
quate allowance is made for local needs and circumstances. 

We feel strongly that the time has come when a halt should be 
called to legislation involving Local Authorities in fresh expenditure. 
They already have more than enough to do in perfecting their organisa- 
tion to carry out the many new duties assigned to them in recent 
years. 

Before expenditure can be reduced it is necessary to arrest its growth 
and this, we are satisfied, is one of the most effective ways to arrest it. 

1 1 . The encouragement of increased local expenditure has been 

most marked in those services where the system of percentage grants 
prevails, indeed it has been an avowed defence of the system that it 
does and is designed to induce Local Authorities to develop the services 
or carry out the works for which the grants are offered. The operation 
of the unemployment grants illustrates the principle in its extreme 
form. T 

\x 

It is not suggested that Local Authorities enter upon reckless expen- 
diture merely because a large percentage will be borne by the Exche- 
quer, but they have been encouraged to embark on expenditure they 
would otherwise have been willing to postpone by the consideration 
That there are Government grants available which, if not taken, will 
go to someone else. 

A further consequence of the system is that Local Authorities raise 
loans for expenditure which might with advantage have been defrayed 
from revenue. This is due to the natural reluctance of the Central 
Government to increase its demands on the public purse by meeting 
its due share of the expenditure in one sum instead of spreading it over 
a period of years. . . . 

12 . We desire to refer specially to one feature of the percentage 
grant system, namely, the control exercised by Government Depart- 
ments over Local Authorities. Here it is not limited to general policy, 

btff extends to matters of lesser moment and even to trivialities. 

We recognise that the responsible Ministers must be in a position 
to satisfy themselves that Local Authorises, are-' doing their work and 
that the money provided by the Exchequer is being properly expended ; 



Local Government Expenditure , 1932 269 

and if the money is being provided or! a pound for pound basis — or in 
extreme cases on a three pound for one pound basis — it may be 
argued that the scrutiny must be detailed. 

However that may be, a substantial expenditure of time and labour 
is incurred by Local Authorities in preparing detailed particulars of 
proposals for submission to the Government Departments, dealing 
with demands for information and statistics or in consultation with 
reference to matters which might safely be left to the discretion of the 
Local Authorities. . . . 

13. . . . [We are led] to the conclusion that the precedent established 
in the Local Government Act, 1929, should be followed, and the prin- 
ciple of equitable block grants extended to as many as possible of those 
services which are at present aided by percentage grants. 

This would make for economy, would get rid of much meticulous 
irritating and wasteful supervision, and would leave Local Authorities 
free to administer their services in the manner best suited to the par- 
ticular needs of their area and to their financial resources, subject to 
general review by the Central Departments of the efficiency and 
economy of their arrangements. . . . 


THE HEADSHIP OF THE CIVIL SERVICE, 1942 

House of Lords Debates , 23 and 26 November 1^42; Official Report , cc. 
223 sgg. sqq. * 

The Earl of Perth: ... I think it would simplify matters if I 
remind your Lordships of a question which I put to His Majesty’s 
Government about the title and functions of Head of the Civil Ser- 
vice, and of the reply which I received from the noble and learned* 
Viscount on the Woolsack on 4 August last. The question w r as to ask 
His Majesty’s Government 

when and by what instrument the title of “Head of the Civil Service 5 * was first 
bestowed on the Permanent Secretary to His Majesty’s Treasury; whether 
Parliamentary sanction was or has subsequently been obtained to the bestowal 
of the title and what are the powers conferred on and the functions performed 
by the holder of the title. 

The answer given was as follows: 

The supreme Head of all the Services of the Crown is the Sovereign. The? 
Ministerial Head of His Majesty 5 # Civil Service is the Prime Minister and 
First Lord of the Treasury. The 'principal officer of that Service is the Per- 
manent Secretary to thd» Treasury; that titte was introduced in 1867 and the 
post has since carried with it the official headship of the Service. No formal 

Tbg 



The Executive 


270 

instrument recording the fact appears then to have been issued, but the posi- 
tion was explicitly reaffirmed in 1919 by the Government of the day in con- 
nexion with the reorganisation of the Treasury after the last war. Appointment 
as “Permanent Secretary to the Treasury and official Head of H.M. Civil 
Service 55 is made by the Prime Minister with the approval of His Majesty. 
The sanction of Parliament to appointments and titles in the Crown Services 
is not required. The function of the holder of this post is to direct, subject to 
Ministerial authority, the work of the Treasury, including that part of the 
Treasury’s work which is concerned with the general supervision of the Civil 
Service and the central oversight of the official machinery of government; his 
duties in this regard include that of advising the Prime Minister and First Lord, 
after consultation with any other Minister concerned, on appointments to 
certain senior posts in the Service which require the Prime Minister’s approval, 
namely: Permanent Heads of Departments, their Deputies, Principal Finance 
Officers and Principal Establishment Officers. The holder of this post is, of 
course, in the exercise of his functions, subject to the authority of the Govern- 
ment of the day and he has no powers independent of the Minister to whom 
he tenders advice and to whom he is responsible. 

. . . The Tomlin Report on the Civil Service states that in 1920 the 
Government of the day affirmed the principle of requiring the consent 
of the Prime Minister to certain important appointments — namely, 
Permanent Under-Secretary, Deputy Permanent Under-Secretary, 
Principal Establishment Officer and Principal Finance "Officer. But 
there was no question here of reaffirmation, and it would appear that 
these functions were first bestowed on the Permanent Secretary of the 
Treasury in 1920. Some of us . . . believe that the post of Head of the 
Civil Service was created only in 1919. . . . 

[The Earl of Perth then referred to the duties of the Secretary of 
the Treasury to advise the Prime Minister on appointments.] 

How does this duty, as defined, apply particularly as regards the 
^authority of responsible Ministers of the Crown? If a permanent 
Secretaryship or Deputy Permanent Secretaryship becomes vacant it 
is no longer the responsible Minister who will propose to the Prime 
Minister the names of those whom he regards as best fitted to fill the 
vacancy. The responsible Minister has, according to the answer, no 
direct access to the Prime Minister in a matter of such vital concern to 
his Department. It is true that he is to be consulted by the Head of 
the Civil Service, but there is no assurance that his advice will be 
taken, and the appointment might be made contrary to his desires. 
He has then to accept it or to resign his high office. This seems to 
me an intolerable position for a Minister of the Crown, and I have 
<grave doubts whether it is in accordance with our constitutional 
principles. ... 

The Lord Chancellor (Viscount "Simon) : . . . The permanent 
heads of great Departments do mot changO nearly as frequently as their 
political heads; it may even be that in some great Departments the 



The Headship of the Civil Service , 1942 271 

same Permanent Secretary has seen quite a number of “embarrassed 
phantoms 55 come and go. But what happens when ... it is necessary 
to choose a new Permanent Secretary for a Major Department . . . ? 

The first thing to realise is this. . . . The appointment is made by 
the Minister at the head of the Department. It is he, and nobody but 
he, who appoints the new Permanent Secretary. . . . 

Now we come to the next point. Is it really suggested that the 
Minister who is at the head of the Department will appoint his Civil 
Service head at his own will and pleasure without consulting anyone 
else ? . . . [The] Ministerial Head of His Majesty’s Civil Service is the 
Prime Minister and the First Lord of the Treasury. He has got the 
constitutional responsibility, and that is why it is formally provided — 
and has been for over 20 years — that the consent of the Prime Minister 
to these particular appointments must be obtained. . . . Nobody 
would think of disputing, I imagine, that it is proper that, while the 
Minister at the head of the Department appoints and announces the 
appointment, the Prime Minister’s approval has to be obtained to 
it. . . . 

Nothing in my previous answer, I would assure my noble friend, was 
intended to suggest that the Minister cannot discuss the matter with 
the Prime Minister. . . . 

The nexrffstep is this. ‘If, then, the Prime Minister has to be con- 
sulted, and if his approval has to be given, and in many cases expressed, 
to the appointment which his colleague makes, is the Prime Minister 
to be debarred from any advice except the advice of his political 
colleague? . . . Of course, he is entitled to ta^e advice from anybody, 
but the natural person to advis£ him is the Secretary to the 
Treasury. . . . 

I think, if I may say so to my noble friend, that there is a tendency 
to fall into error here, because it is easily assumed that in matters of 
public administration in this country we follow a precise formal pro- 
tocol. There is nothing ires protocolaire in our methods here. All the 
better. I should imagine that in some cases the first step that is taken 
is that the Minister who has to appoint the head of a Department 
communicates with the Secretary of the Treasury. ... It is a wise 
thing if you are going to put a proposal up to the Prime Minister, to 
take steps, if you can, to see that those who may be called in to advise 
the Prime Minister know what it is all about beforehand. . . . 

... I most entirely agree . . . that 1919 or 1920 is the date when 
these things were put on a perfectly firm and exact basis. What hap- 
pened was this. After the last war the future constitution of the Treasury 
was discussed among Cabinet Ministers. They arrived at certain views 
and the matter was brought^before the Finance Committee of the 
Cabinet. At this distance. oiftime I do*[not] think it can be objection- 
able to speak of this. In 1919 there was a Committee cff the Cabinet, 



The Executive 


272 

consisting of Mr. Lloyd George/ Mr. Bonar Law, Mr. Austen Cham- 
berlain, Lord Milner and Sir Auckland Geddes. . . . The main points 
that were then decided were these: That the Treasury should be 
reorganised in three main sections dealing respectively with finance, 
with supply and with establishments, each under an official of the 
status and with the pay of the head of a First Class Department of 
State; that the activities of all three Departments of the Treasury were 
to be co-ordinated and controlled by a Permanent Secretary to the 
Treasury with a salary superior to that of the head of a first-class 
Department of State. This last-mentioned individual was to be 
recognised as Head of the Civil Service. . . . 

My noble friend asked two questions. . . . First of all, he wanted to 
know whether the Permanent Secretary of the Treasury could inter- 
vene in questions of policy relating to Departments other than the 
Treasury. The answer is really this, that questions of policy are not 
for civil servants at all, either for the Permanent Secretary of the 
Treasury or for anyone else; they are for Ministers, and especially for 
Cabinet Ministers, and for tlqe Cabinet. The Prime Minister and the 
Chancellor of the Exchequer both have a good deal of say in the policy 
of the Government as a whole. On many matters the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer exercises, in the nature of things, a considerable and 
perhaps a preponderating influence; that is r why there a*e so many 
Ministerial conferences at the Treasury. The Chancellor of the 
Exchequer’s responsibilities in this regard are, or may be, delegated 
by him within certain limits to his permanent officials ; for instance, it 
is quite common to pu*t a Treasury man on a Committee which is 
being organised by another Department. These officials, in their 
different spheres, carry out duties on his behalf and under his general 
direction; but, if my noble friend is suggesting that the status or title 
of official Head of the Civil Service confers on the Permanent Secre- 
tary some right or power not inherent in his position as Secretary to 
the Treasury, then I can give him the most explicit assurance on that 
point. . . . This gentleman enjoys no form of independent authority 
inconsistent with the constitutional responsibility of Ministers who 
direct him. . . . 

Lord Hankey : . . . I think it should be understood that the position 
of the Head of the Civil Service is consultative rather than advisory. 

That brings us back to the question whether the Head of the Civil 
Service should be the same person as the Secretary of the Treasury. 
There is a strong argument for that because the Treasury, owing to its 
elose financial association with the Departments on all levels, does get 
a- tremendous lot of information about* the personnel of Government 
Departments, and whatever is done in me way of reorganisation it is 
important that that source of ffiformatiorT should be available to the 
Head of the Civil Service. But I doubt if that advantage overrides the 



The Headship of the Civil Service , ig 42 273 

disadvantages of his being the Head of the Treasury. The first and 
obvious disadvantage is that the Permanent Secretary to the Treasury 7 
is supposed, in principle, to help the Chancellor of the Exchequer to 
run the finances of the country. I do not believe that that was the case 
after the last war because the occupant of the post became so tremen- 
dously absorbed in his duties as Head of the Civil Service. . . . 

The second objection, even more important, is that it is unsound 
from a psychological point of view that the civil servants of all the 
Departments should feel that their future is almost entirely dependent 
on the Permanent Head of the Financial Department of the Govern- 
ment. Civil servants of all ranks must always be free to support the 
policy of their Minister — if necessary to “fight his corner 55 even 
against the Treasury — without any lurking doubt in their minds as to 
any effect this might have on their careers. I used to wonder sometimes 
whether this was not one of the factors that affected the extraordinary 
and almost dangerous grip wffiich the financial authorities obtained 
before the war in at least one of the Fighting Services and to a certain 
extent in others, and which I believe wa$ a factor in the backwardness 
of our war preparations. . . . 

Lord Kennet : . . . Nothing surely could be more remote from facts 
than to suppose that the Treasury is only a Ministry of Finance. It 
is a great deal more; it i*s in truth three Ministries in one, with only a 
very slight bond between them. It is a Ministry of Finance in the first 
place — the financial side. It is, secondly, a Ministry of Supply — 
watching over the expenditure of the (government Departments, con- 
cerned characteristically for the Estimates. T^kat is another Ministry. 
But there is a third, very little related to these two. the Establishment 
side of the Treasury, and that is the side which is the central co- 
ordinating Department of the whole of the Civil Service. ... It is as 
head of that Department that the Head of the Civil Service acts, and 
not as head of the Financial Department; and though the difference 
may w r ell seem to have a subtlety, it is nevertheless a practical one and 
well recognised by all concerned. . . . 

I fear that the practical conclusion must be that nobody can dis- 
charge the functions of the Head of the Civil Service in the more 
important aspect unless he is at the same time the responsible official * 
chief of the Establishment Department of the Treasury, and thus has 
the knowledge, experience, and authority to keep him in touch with 
the qualifications necessary for the office which he discharges. . . . 

Lord Geddes: ... It so happened that early in 1919, Sir Albert 
Stanley, as he then was — Lord Ashfield — was President of the Boar 4 
of Trade. He fell ill, and I was sent to that office as acting President 
just at the time when that ^ery great and very distinguished civil 
servant, Sir Hubert Bfewellfn Smith, was reaching the end of his time. 
In the ordinary course I went to the Prime Minister and^told him what 



The Executive 


274 

I thought would be a good arrangement to make with regard to a 
successor. He said to me, “Well, I think we should get Lord Milner 
and Mr. Bonar Law in on this. 55 It was out of that that originated the 
Committee of which . . . the Lord Chancellor told us. . . . The idea 
in Lord Milner’s mind was that we should get a powerful, strong, 
central Department to be the Department of the Civil Service, and 
that is the Establishment Division of the Treasury as it was created. 
But it became necessary to realise the Civil Service which, when we 
speak of it here in the area of Westminster, we are apt to regard as a 
small collection of senior civil servants, is a very big organisation with 
great problems throughout the country. 

In 1 9 1 9 no one who knew the facts would have maintained that the 
Government was really a good employer. There were many things 
lacking. . . . There was a great lack in many parts of the Civil Service, 
we were told, of real esprit de corps. In fact, there was great discon- 
tent. . . . Lord Milner worked out the scheme which was finally 
embodied in the Minute [of 4 September 1919]... and in the Circular 
of 15 September 1919. . . . When it was approved by the Committee 
and communicated to and accepted by the Cabinet, the purpose of 
that organisation was to provide a definite central figure who would, 
if I may put it this way, impersonate the Government as the employer 
in the vast extents pf the Civil Service which are not immediately under 
observation in Whitehall. The work done by Sir Warren Fisher in the 
years between 1919 and 1939— because, after all, he was there for 20 
years — in building up the employer’s side, the modern employer’s 
outlook, on behalf of tifcfl? Government in relation to the civil servants 
employed, is a marvellous bit of work for which he has not received 
anything like the credit he deserves. . . . 

There was in my mind, and I have no doubt there was in the minds 
of every other member of that Committee, the thought that we were 
making a very definite change in the relations of the Head of the 
Civil Service to the Service as a whole. We were giving him new 
responsibilities and giving him new powers. It so happened that 
immediately after the war . . . there was pressure on the Government 
from the country and from the Press in the direction of economy. . . . 
Your Lordships will also remember that there came a period of great 
financial pressure and strain due to the colossal attempt that we made 
to pay the American Debt. Then came the return to the gold standard, 
the coming of the economic blizzard, and all the rest of it. 

All that had a profound effect upon the position of the Head of the 
Treasury as the Head of the Civil Service. During this long period of 
years all the pressure from the Government was towards cutting down 
expenditure. . . . [Every] Minister tc^whom I spoke, other than 
Chancellors of the Exchequer, ^always h£d -a grievance that he was 
not allowed to carry out his policy, while the Chancellors of the 



The Headship of the Civil Service , 1Q4.2 275 

Exchequer . . . always had a grievance' that everybody else was spending 
far too much, or at least trying to do so. That had the effect of putting 
the head of the Treasury into the position of continually having to bring 
his influence to bear upon Departments to get them to moderate their 
demands, not only through Ministers but through those inter-depart- 
mental discussions which so often precede the deliberations of Ministers 
in the preparations of Estimates and so on. That pressure from the 
Treasury, very often exercised, I am told, by Sir Warren Fisher in 
interview and discussion, undoubtedly had the effect at times of 
making certain members of the Civil Service, who were keen to carry 
out the policy of their Ministers, get a little hot under the collar, and a 
superstition arose — it would be difficult to find much evidence for it, 
but that the superstition did exist there is no doubt — that if people 
made too strong a fight with the Treasury for the policy of their 
Departments they would not perhaps be quite so lucky in the next 
turn for promotion. That is inevitable where you have struggle and 
pressure and where one man is occupying two positions, and having 
to apply the pressure not necessarily himself directly but through the 
appropriate controller or possibly at a lower level, that same man 
being in a position, as would appear to other civil servants ... to 
influence their promotion and their reward. . . . 


THE CIVIL SERVICE, 1943 

.* 

House of Commons Debates , 28 January 1943; Official Report , cc. 66 7 sqq. 

Mr. William Brown: . . . How far do the defects of the [Civil] 
Service arise from the character of the relationship between itself, 
Parliament, and the public; that is to say, how far are they the ines- 
capable consequences of our democratic system of government (in 
which case we may have to endure them), or how far are they remedi- 
able by changes in organisation and control? . . . 

Because Civil Service defects are bound to figure largely in the 
Debate, I hope the House will bear with me if I pay a word of tribute^ 
to the Service. I affirm that in three respects the public service of 
Britain is far and away the best in the world. The first respect is its 
tradition of probity and incorruptibility. . . . 

The second respect is its non-political character. . . . 

The third respect — it is time someone paid this tribute — is in th£ 
tradition of public service, which it renews from generation to«geflera- 
tion. There is a sense in whj/fti the Civil Service is a vocation. If its 
members do not take the ^w of chastity, at least they take the vows 
of poverty and obedience. . . . 



The Executive 


276 

Nevertheless, having paid that tribute, I admit that, particularly 
in this war, more so than in the last, the Service has not shown itself 
to the advantage which I and its other admirers would like to have 
seen, and preceding speakers are right when they say there is a good 
deal of public criticism of the Service to-day, more than I have been 
aware of at any earlier time in my connexion with it. What are the 
charges that are made against it? . . . Substantially, there are four 
charges. The first is that civil servants run to paper — that there are 
all sorts of transactions which in an ordinary commercial office would 
be the subject of oral or telephonic decision, but which in the Civil 
Service become the subject of meticulous, elaborate, detailed, paper 
record. 

Criticism No. 2 is that in our accountancy arrangements we carry 
checking and cross-checking auditing processes to a quite unnecessary 
degree of elaboration. The third charge is that the Civil Service has 
developed to a fine art the technique of avoiding individual responsi- 
bility or, in popular language, the technique known as “passing the 
buck. 55 Fourthly, that as the r result of those things, the pace of the 
whole machine is slowed up, and we have a static and negative Civil 
Service at a time when war conditions demand that we should have 
every ounce of possible drive and energy. ... I am not going to deny 
those charges, but I ask . . . how far those defects lie iri «the nature 
of things. 

Let me put it another way. If I am a private capitalist, . . . running 
a business, it is within my unlettered discretion as to how far I carry 
the process of recording and minuting. I am only answerable, at the 
end of the year, to a meeting of shareholders, many of whom probably 
will not attend. . . . But suppose I had a shareholders 5 protection com- 
mittee of 6 1 5 members, meeting three days a week, with every member 
free to interrogate me on every aspect of my policy and every detail 
of any transaction within my control, obviously I should find myself 
compelled to maintain records in the same degree of detail that the 
Civil Service does, burdensome as that responsibility may be and 
costly as it is, and slowing us down as it does. I affirm that democracy 
in Britain is never better than it is at Question time in the House of 
Commons. And it would be a poor exchange to sacrifice the right of 
individual Members to interrogate Ministers in the utmost detail for 
the sake of a few hundreds of thousands of pounds which you might 
save by taking away that right. 

Again, the civil servant when he does a financial transaction, has 
»ot only to think of the accounts section of his own Ministry. He has 
to tnink of the Exchequer and Audit Department, he has to think of 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he has*\> think of the Public Accounts 
Committee, and he has to think of the Select Committee on National 
Expenditure. *And if that lot has not bowled him out, there is the 



The Civil Service , 1943 277 

House of Commons as a whole in reserve. Inevitably under those 
conditions you are bound to have a degree of detail in accountancy 
which goes much beyond what you might expect to see in pi'ivate 
enterprise. 

The third criticism, that we “pass the buck,” again illustrates this 
difference between democratic and autocratic government. In a dic- 
tatorship you are not obliged to treat all citizens as equal before the 
law. In a democracy you are. And it follows that the civil servant must 
not give to one member of the public one sort of treatment and to 
another different treatment. He has to treat all alike, and he has to 
consider, in deciding each case, whether he is not creating a precedent 
which will subsequently be acted on in other cases. In those circum- 
stances there is bound to be a degree of cross-referencing which is much 
greater than needs to be the case with a private concern. But I notice 
that, simultaneously with being charged with dodging responsibility, 
there is a school in Britain, of which Lord Hewart was a very able 
spokesman, which conceives of the civil servant as being so thirsty for 
responsibility that he is continually grabbing powers that do not 
belong to him, and separating and subtracting them from the powers 
of Parliament. I do not mind which charge we have to face — but they 
cannot both be true. . . . With regard to the last point, that we are 
slowed doyh, I agree. But I hope that what I have said will indicate 
that to a degree those things are inherent in the democratic structure 
of government. They are part of the price we have to pay for being 
able to call Ministers and civil servant* to account. . . . 


CIVIL SERVICE ORGANISATION AND METHODS 

Fifth Report from the Select Committee on Estimates , 1946-47 
SURVEY OF EVIDENCE 

3. . . . From the history of previous recommendations on the sub- 
ject .. . the following brief summary can be made: * 

1914. The Royal Commission on the Civil Service (the “MacDonnell 
Commission”) recommended the creation with the Treasury of “a 
special Section for the general supervision and control of the Civil 
Service” ; this Section was, amongst other duties, “to carry out inquiries 
and investigations into any matters connected with departmental 
administration and methods of working.” * ^ 

1918. The Haldane Commit#? on the Machinery of Government urged that 
the Treasury shoukRunderjake more frequent inquiries into the general 
administration of Departments. . . . 



The Executive 


278 

1931. The Royal Commission on the Civil Service (the “Tomlin Commis- 
sion 5 J ) recommended that provision should be made for the continuous 
overhaul of the machinery of Government by a small staff, recruited 
from the Civil Service and specially trained to deal with problems of 
efficiency and economy in departmental organisation. 

1942. The National Expenditure Committee stated that in the period 
between the two wars the response of the Treasury to the demand 
that expert knowledge and study should be brought to bear on the 
problems of departmental organisation had been meagre in the 
extreme. The control of Establishments remained in the hands of Civil 
Servants whose experience was for the most part limited to the proce- 
dure of the Departments in which they served. The only definite action 
which had been taken to make use of the experience of the outside 
world was the introduction into the Treasury, in 1919, of a few “Trea- 
sury Investigating Officers/ 5 versed in the use of office machines and 
appliances, to control the supply of such equipment to Government 
Departments. The concern of these officers with organisation sddom 
rose above the efficient use of the machines which they supplied. . . . 
In the opinion of the National Expenditure Committee, the period 
from 1919 to 1939 was marked by an almost complete failure by the 
Treasury to foster the systematic study of organisation as applied to 
Government Departments. - ' 

4. On the outbreak of war the spread of Government activity was 
followed by corresponding, but gradual, adjustments in departmental 
machinery. By July 1940, ther Chief Investigating Officer’s staff had 
risen to 22, of whom 16 had been brought in from outside and 6 were 
Civil Servants. By the r end of July 1941, the total strength of the 
Investigating Section had increased to 35, and by the beginning of 
June 1942, to 46. The Section was also renamed the “Organisation 
and Methods Division 55 in order to give a more accurate description of 
ks enlarged scope. 

5. About the middle of 1941 the Treasury decided that the time had 
come to take stock of the work achieved by their investigating teams, 
and in order to secure an authoritative and unprejudiced opinion they 
invited Mr. Reid Young to survey results and advise on future develop- 

^ments. He confirmed the tentative view of the Treasury that, whatever 
help from outside might be given, it must not lead Departments to 
think that they were in any way relieved of responsibility for the 
efficiency of their own organisation. It was therefore decided that the 
larger Departments should be encouraged to set up O. and M. sections 
of their own in order to ensure the continuous oversight of their own 
machinery. But Treasury help was not to be eliminated, and one of 
the functions of the Treasury O. and M^taff was to be the co-ordina- 
ting of the results of investigations carried r put imthe various Depart- 
ments, so that^gxperience might be pooled.' 



Civil Service Organisation 279 

6. A further consequence of Mr. Reid Young’s inquiries was the 
creation early in 1942 of a panel of business men on a part-time basis 
to supervise the work of the O. and M. Division of the Treasury and 
O. and M. in Departments. This panel was reconstituted as an advisory 
body in 1943. . . . 

9. The purpose of O. and M. in the Civil Service is to secure maxi- 
mum efficiency in the operation of the Government’s executive 
machinery; and, by the expert application of scientific methods to 
organisation, to achieve economies in cost and labour. The operations 
of the O. and M. service, although not directed primarily to securing 
reductions in staff, almost invariably result in the more economical 
use of staff. O. and M. is an advisory service; recommendations result- 
ing from a review are a matter for consideration by the Head of a 
Department and for adoption at his discretion. . . . 

11. Of approximately 100 Government Departments, 19 have 
established their own O. and M. Branches, each under the administra- 
tive cferection of the Principal Establishments Officer. The remaining 
Departments, which include the Foreign Office and the Ministry of 
Health, have so far decided to rely upon the Treasury O. and M. staff 
for advice on specific problems, for periodical reviews of departmental 
machinery and, in particular, for the planning of new work under- 
taken by a "Department* At 1 April 1946, the aggregate O. and M. 
staff (other than clerical) of the Departments, including the Treasury, 
was 179. By 1 April 1947, the numbers had increased to 224J. . . . 

12. On 8 January 1945, the Treasury O. and M. Division issued a 
memorandum setting out the status and functions of departmental O. 
and M. Branches and their relations* with the Division. This document 
has become known as “The O. and M. Charter.” It states that a 
Department is to have untrammelled control in O. and M. matters 
within its own field, and that the creation of an O. and M. Branch is 
not to relieve departmental officers of their primary responsibility fcfc 
efficient organisation : the O. and M. Branch is to be responsible to the 
Establishment Officer, who, it is suggested, should have the word 
“Organisation” incorporated in the name of his office and of his 
division. Advice on O. and M. in general, with particular reference to 
the planning of new work, is specified as the chief function o& 
the Branch, and it is emphasised that advice and not instruction is 
to be the method of approach. . . . The Charter outlines the functions 
of the Treasury O. and M. Division as consisting, among other things 
of working on assignments in those Departments having no O. and M. 
Branches of their own; and, by the provision of staff, assisting, qp. 
request, those Departments ^possessing O. and M. Branches. 1 * The 
Division should, in addition maintain contact with departmental O. 
and M. Branches enc</iraging the joint examination of common 
problems, by conducting courses of training and study groups, and also 



280 The Executive 

by acting as a centre to which ‘departmental O. and M. officers can 
refer. 

13. The Treasury’ O. and M. Division is now fully incorporated in 
the Treasury system, and it constitutes the headquarters for O. and 
M. development throughout the Civil Service. . . . 

14. The work of the Division falls, broadly, into two classes; first, 
service to other Government Departments, and, secondly, general 
investigations and studies. . . . 

18. The Advisory Panel of business men- . . . maintain an active 
interest in the O. and M. service and meet at the Treasury once a 
month for consultation with the Third Secretary (Establishments and 
Machinery of Government), the Director and Deputy Director of the 
O. and M. Division. With their intimate knowledge of the O. and M. 
service, they are able to supply a valuable contact with important 
business organisations and to offer advice at the highest level of the 
Civil Service. 

19. In each Department where there is an O. and M. Brancfi, this 
has been placed under the authority of the officer in charge of Estab- 
lishments as a separate unit of his organisation. . . . 

21. . . . the status of O. and M. Branches varied considerably in 
different Departments. Of the 19 departmental O. and M. Branches, 
10 were in the charge of Assistant Secretaries, the renaming nine 
being directed by '’officers of junior rank. Two of the Assistant Secre- 
taries had had no previous experience of O. and M. work either within 
or outside the Civil Service, in the greater number of Departments, 
the O. and M. service, is directed to methods of work at the lower 
levels, or to the investigations of 'problems as they arise, rather than 
to the consideration of organisation at the higher levels of administra- 
tion. This limitation was said to result from the comparatively small 
numbers of O. and M. staff, whose time is fully occupied with ad hoc 
inquiries. . . . 

24. The Treasury undertake the training of officers who are selected 
for O. and M. work, whether they are on the staff of the Treasury or 
other Departments. . . . 

28. It is the responsibility of the Treasury Division to co-ordinate 
~ffie activities of departmental O. and M. Branches and to secure that 
new ideas and experience are made available throughout the 
Service. . . . 

32. The following figures taken from published statements showing 
the civil staffs in Government Departments in 1939, 1945, 1946 and 
are given as an indication of the effect of war and subsequent 
legist tiyn upon the numbers employed : 

1 st April 1st July 1st April \ 1 st January 1 st April 

*939 1945 * 1946 % . 1947 1947 

374,3°i 666,981 695,950 722,294 716,953 



Civil Service Organisation 281 

The total figures of Non-Industrial Civil Servants at rst April , 1947, are 
analysed by staff groups in the table below : 


Whole-time Part-time 


1st April , 1947 

Men 

Women 

Men 

Women 

Total 

Administrative . 

3,600 

595 

33 

9 

4,216 

Executive 

40,479 

10,079 

255 

83 

50,727 

Clerical and 
Sub-Clerical 

132,291 

128,230 

207 

8,071 

264,660 

Professional, Technical 
and Scientific 

34,242 

3= *87 

48 1 

55 

37,697 

Minor and 
Manipulative 

133,030 

62,072 

24,900 

20,288 

217,996 

Technical Ancillary . 

46,829 

7,791 

164 

146 

54,775 

Inspectorate 

4=877 

720 

133 

3 

5, 66 5 

Messengerial, etc 

32,157 

13,419 

1,018 

8,132 

50,1s 1 

Total 

427,609 

256,35! 

27,194 

38,792 

716,953 


These % figures indicate that approximately 80 per cent, of those em- 
ployed in the Civil Service are engaged on work where the applica- 
tion of improved organisation and methods should lead to staff 
economies. . . . 

36. ... It was suggested by one witness that the re-distribution of 

the businese # of Government at the higher levels was a field not yet 
covered by the O. and M. service, and that improvements could be 
made if the problem was approached with a view to designing the 
most effective Government machine insfead of applying expedients to 
a structure designed for a different purpose. In*his view, the principles 
which guided the Civil Service were adequate when Government 
activities were mainly of a quasi-judicial nature. They were inadequate, 
however, for the ever-increasing Government activities of a quasi- 
opera tional nature; these raise intricate problems when the co- 
ordination of several Ministries is involved in the achievement of a 
specific object. The witness considered that such problems had not 
been satisfactorily solved and that the machinery of Government could 
be re-designed to operate more efficiently from the top to the bottom 

37. The Permanent Secretary of the Treasury stated in evidence that 
during the last year or so, the Permanent Secretaries of all the White- - 
hall Departments had been much concerned with questions of efficiency 
generally, and there had been a small group at high official level 
working on some of the problems. That Group had heard evidence 
from outside business people of great experience, including many who, 
as a result of some years of war service in Government Departments^ 
not only knew the Government machine from inside, but also Htd a 
detached point of view. Suggestions which emerged from that inquiry 
have led to the setting up ^)f a small committee, consisting chiefly of 
Permanent Secretaries, of which the Head of the Treasury himself is 



282 


The Executive 


likely to be chairman. One of 'the ways in which this committee is 
expected to be of most use is to see that accepted recommendations 
from O. and M. are put into effect. 

38. . . . He pointed out that there had been a growth in recent years 
of machinery for collecting information from all Departments about 
the economic life and needs of the country; this information finds its 
way to Ministers and the Cabinet by means of, for example, the 
Economic Section of the Cabinet Office, the Central Statistical Office 
and, now, the Inter-department Planning Staff. . . . 

CONCLUSIONS 

56. Finally, if industry is to be urged to become more efficient, it 
seems essential that the Government should put its own administra- 
tion in order. It is clear that insufficient thought has been given to 
adapting the machinery of Government to its new tasks, and that, as 
the Prime Minister himself has stated, the administration is stfained 
almost to breaking point. The problem that has to be considered 
to-day is not identical with ftiat considered by . . . earlier inquiries. 
The extent of the Government’s interest in industry has been perman- 
ently widened, and the Civil Service has increasingly been required to 
take a more direct part in the economic life t>f the countfy New and 
great responsibilities have been placed upon it, more particularly in 
regard to the nationalised industries. With this increase in its duties an 
increase of staff is inevitable. Furthermore, although some new 
Ministries have been fprmed and much of the responsibility for the 
actual conduct of industrial and -trading activities is being placed in 
the hands of quasi-governmental boards, the size of the major Depart- 
ments of State has of necessity been greatly enlarged. The obvious 
danger is that those may have become too large and cumbrous to work 
rapidly and efficiently as single administrative units. It has been 
argued that a redistribution of functions between existing Departments 
would not be likely to effect any striking economy in manpower. This 
may be so; but a reconsideration of the whole pattern of the Govern- 
ment machine in the light of modern conditions might well suggest a 

^re-organisation that would increase the rapidity and efficiency with 
which the ever growing volume of work is discharged. This might not 
reduce staff, but it might obviate further increases and should result 
in economy in the true meaning of that word. 

57. The problem is not confined to questions of establishments and 
machinery for interdepartmental liaison. A pattern has to be worked 
out fey ^hich the new National Boards and other extra-governmental 
bodies, which nevertheless have responsibilities to the State, can be 
incorporated in, or satisfactorily linke$ to, * the administrative 
machinery. . . , 



Civil Service Organisation 283 

58. . . . Your Committee wish to emphasise their conclusion that 
little is to be gained by tinkering with a problem of such fundamental 
importance — a problem which lies at the root of good government, a 
problem which demands the highest priority among the many tasks 
now waiting to be done. 


WEAKNESSES IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT, 1947 

Report of the Local Government Boundary Commission for 1 9 4J ( H.C . 86 of 

1947-48) 

r. . . . Our experience amply confirms the statement made recently 
in Parliament by the Minister of Health: “ . . . Everyone who 
knows about local government feels that it is nonsense to talk 
about* functions and boundaries separately. They have to be taken 
together. . . 

3. ... In this part of the Report we . mention some of the main 
factors which, in our view, impede local government and give rise to 
a sense of frustration. 

4. Disparity in Size anf Resources . — A major defect of the present 
organisation is the disparity between individual counties and individual 
county boroughs in the matter of population and resources. This dis- 
parity is due in part to historical causey, but mainly to the fact that 
adjustments of the local government structure have not kept pace with 
changes of population or with changes in functions. 

Under the Local Government Act, 1888, the boundaries of admin- 
istrative counties . . . were based on the ancient county boundaries. 
These had behind them a wealth of history, tradition and sentiment. 
Some of them were by no means ideal for local administration of the 
services of that day and the addition of a large range of new services 
has added considerably to the number of unsuitable areas. Since 1888 
there has been no general review of the area of counties. 

By the same Act the status of county borough was granted to certain 
boroughs, either because they were then “counties of towns, 55 or 
because they had a population of 50,000 or upwards. In introducing*^ 
the Bill for the Act of 1 888 the Government of the day proposed that 
only the ten largest cities, all having populations at that date of more 
than 100,000, should be independent of county government, but this 
intention was abandoned, not without reluctance, during the passage 
of the Bill, and 63 towns became county boroughs. In 1926^ tb^ 
minimum population for county borough status was raised from 
50,000 to 75,000 and in 194^ it was in effect raised to 100,000 by the 
Act, but since 1 888* no -cfunty or county borough has ever lost its 



284 The Executive 

status, and the gulf between the greater and smaller authorities in 
each class has widened. 

We set out some significant figures for England and Wales: . . . 


Population range 

Counties 1 

County be 

Less than 50,000 

5 

4 

50,000-75,000 

5 

16 

75,000-100,000 

3 

*3 

100,000-150,000 

6 

23 

150,000-200,000 

4 

1 1 

200,000-500,000 

24 

12 

500,000-1,000,000 

8 

3 

Over 1,000,000 

6 

1 


61 

83 


The largest county in population is Middlesex (2,270,000) and the 
smallest Rutland (18,000). # 

The largest county borough is Birmingham (1,085,000), and the 
smallest Canterbury (25,000)-. . . . 

The aggregate population of the 50 smallest counties and county 
boroughs is approximately equal to the aggregate of the two largest 
(Middlesex and Birmingham). 

Five million persons live in Lancashire and 4^ million in^Yorkshire, 
together nearly a quarter of the population of England and Wales. 

Forty-one out of 80 county boroughs (excluding three in Greater 
London) are in Cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire and Yorkshire. 

County districts present a similar spectacle of disparity in population 
and in resources. For example, the largest urban district has a popula- 
tion of 200,000 and the smallest of 700, with id. rate products of 
£8, 600 and £ 16 respectively. 

A systematic allocation of functions between the different types of 
authorities is plainly impossible if units of each type vary within such 
wide limits. The weakness of the smaller counties and county boroughs 
has unquestionably been one of the causes of the transfer of functions 
from local to central government or to other authorities, just as the 
weakness of the smaller county districts has led to a transfer of func- 
tions to the counties. Unless this defect in the system is remedied, 
Parliament may well hesitate to entrust to local authorities in the 
future new functions which are in themselves entirely apt for local 
administration. 

5. Concentrations of Population . — The failure of the local government 
system to keep pace with the changing pattern of modern industrial 
England is seen most strikingly in the huge concentrations of popula- 
tion living in neighbouring towns, whiclT are closely knit as economic 

1 Excluding the County of London. 



Weaknesses in Local Government , 1947 285 

and industrial units but have little or no connection or cohesion as 
local government units. Most of these concentrations have grown up 
without regard to ancient boundaries or to those fixed subsequently. 
In 1888 Parliament recognised the existence of this problem in the 
Metropolis and boldly solved it by creating a new county council area 
— the County of London. . . . No similar action has since been taken 
elsewhere. There are at least five other areas where large concentra- 
tions of population exist — the Black Country, Manchester and District, 
Merseyside, Tyneside and the West Riding. In smaller degree Tees- 
side, the Potteries and the areas in and near Brighton and Bourne- 
mouth present a similar problem. 

6. Central Control . — Another result due, at least in part, to the weak- 
ness of the smaller units in all types of authorities has been the increased 
central control of local administration which, if carried much further, 
would cut at the root of local government. In the second half of the 
nineteenth century public health and local government legislation was 
content to leave local authorities with a wide measure of discretion in 
the exercise of their functions. Approval of capital expenditure, 
periodic audits and the disclosure of defects and abuses by public 
inquiry formed the main control in the hands of the central Govern- 
ment. Since the close of the century a sharp reversal of this policy has 
been apparent. This may be seen by comparing the language of the 
Statute Book in the two periods. In the earlier Acte a local authority 
was empowered ( <c may”) or directed (“shall”) to provide a particular 
service. The later pattern of legislation directs it to prepare and submit 
to the appropriate Minister a scheme of arrangements for making the 
service available and empowers the \Ihiister t6 accept, modify or reject 
the scheme as he thinks fit. Moreover, in addition to war and post-war 
controls, there is now a much more extensive system of supervision 
over day-to-day operations of local authorities. There are, no doubt, 
other factors making for this change of policy — the increasing tendency 
of Parliament to hold Ministers and their Departments responsible for 
every act or omission on the part of a local authority (a tendency which 
has contributed to the creation by Departments of large regional 
staffs) , and the increasing share of the taxpayer in the financial burden 
of local services. 

7. Haphazard Allocation of Functions . — A development which has 
tended to distort the shape of local government is the multiplication 
of Departments charged with the oversight of specialised local govern- 
ment services. Education, health, highways, town and country plan- 
ning, agriculture and police are six local government services under 
the supervision of separate Ministers. The result is that no one Depart- 
ment can view local government as a whole. ... As a consequence the 
allocation of functions to different types of authorities has been unsys- 
tematic and the process ha's gone on without much rqf$rence to local 

Ubg 



286 


The Executive 


government as a balanced organism. Much of this legislation was 
passed in the pressure of wars or of the aftermath of wars. Piecemeal 
decisions had to be taken on the course of Parliamentary debates and 
often as the outcome of Parliamentary bargaining ; and the fact that 
each new arrangement has emerged after a struggle between the various 
types of local authorities has not conduced to fruitful co-operation 
between them. Another result has been to create a mass of joint boards, 
joint committees and other combinations for particular purposes. 

8. Conflicts over Boundaries . Ever since 1888 conflict between counties 
and county boroughs over boundary extensions and the creation of 
county boroughs has been a constant feature of local government. . . . 
The existence of autonomous and ever-growing county boroughs made 
conflict inevitable. . . . 

From 1888 until 1923 ... 33 proposals for the creation of county 
boroughs were made, and 23 were ultimately successful. . . . Similarly 
165 proposals were made for county borough extensions, of which no 
were successful in full or in part. These creations and extensions trans- 
ferred from the counties to county boroughs about 3,000,000 popula- 
tion and £14,500,000 rateable value. . . . Other substantial extensions 
and one creation took place between 1923 and 1939, usually after 
lengthy and expensive Parliamentary contests. 

Since the establishment of this Commission 4n 1945 we haye received 
applications for the creation and extension of county boroughs which 
would have removed substantial areas and resources from counties 
and involved the disappearance of 66 non-county boroughs, 1 30 urban 
districts and 1 1 rural districts, as well as the absorption of parts of 1 74 
other county districts. Tile attitude of county councils to these demands 
is normally one of unqualified resistance, and has culminated in 
counterclaims for the removal of county borough status from most of 
the existing county boroughs. . . . 

* It is, in our view, a matter of first importance to the future of local 
government that this very natural antagonism should cease. . . . 


THE MACHINERY OF PLANNING, 1947 

House of Commons Debates , 10 March igpj ; Official Report , cc . g 6 p sqq. 
The President of the Board of Trade (Sir Stafford Cripps) : I 
beg to move, 

Thrt this House welcomes the laying before Parliament of a survey of the 
nation’s requirements and resources for 1947. . . . 

. . . Let me turn to the first section of the^ White Paper, dealing with 
economic planping. . . . There is a wide diherence between what may 



The Machinery of Planning, 194J 287 

be termed totalitarian planning, &nd democratic planning. The 
essence of the former is that the individual must be completely sub- 
ordinated to the needs of the State, even to the extent of depriving the 
individual of free choice of occupation. Democratic planning, on the 
other hand, aims at preserving maximum freedom of choice for the 
individual while yet bringing order into the industrial production of 
the country, so that it may render the maximum service to the nation 
as a whole. We are attempting to make a success of democratic plan- 
ning, and ... we have decided . . . not to employ, as a normal matter, 
methods of direction or compulsion of manpower outside the necessities 
of defence. 

We must, therefore, adapt our methods of planning to our means of 
control and enforcement. ... We must . . . attempt to guide production 
. . . not by direct control of manpower, as with the Services, but with 
other regulatory controls which are available, such as those of raw 
materials, capital, investment, machinery allocation, taxation, and 
so on? But, apart from those various controls, we must also rely upon 
the individual co-operation of both sides of industry. . . . 

There are two important changes wffiich we are making, on the 
basis of our experience up to date, in connection with the reorganisa- 
tion of economic planning. . . . First is the strengthening of the staff 
for econoiigit planning, a*nd the second is the arrangement for ensuring 
the co-operation of industry in the planning organisation. The founda- 
tion of this economic planning work must, of course, be done in the 
departments concerned with trade, industry and economic affairs. In 
recent months these Departments have been constituting their plan- 
ning staff. In future, it will be the recognised practice that each 
Department will have a whole-time planning staff under a senior 
officer, charged with special responsibilities in this held. 

The most important development on which His Majesty’s Govern- 
ment have decided is the strengthening of the inter-departmental 
planning arrangements. They propose, therefore, to appoint a joint 
planning staff, somewhat on the lines of the procedure that was so 
successfully developed in the war, as, for example, in the joint war 
production staff. The main strength of this staff will be departmental 
planning officers. But it is essential that the staff should work undent 
effective direction from the centre, and it has been decided to make a 
new appointment of a full-time executive head of the interdepart- 
mental planning staff. . . . Each of the departmental planning officers 
will have on his staff at least one officer whose duties are arranged so 
that, while he does not lose contact with his own Department, he ca^ 
devote a considerable part of his time on the central work of jh^joint 
staff. It is contemplated that these assistants will frequently meet 
together to work as special groups und^r the staff. Under these arrange- 
ments, the head of the organisation will not himself require to have 



288 


The Executive 


any large staff of his own, but he will need a small, picked staff of 
persons with programming experience and a small secretariat. 

The function of this inter-departmental staff will cover the whole 
field of forward planning . . . [and] will, of course, work in the closest 
relation with the other central organisations, in particular the Econo- 
mic Section of the Cabinet office and the Central Statistical Office, 
both of which have important contributions to make towards economic 
planning. . . . 


THE CIVIL SERVICE AND POLITICS, 1949 

Report of the [ Masierman ] Committee on the Political Activities of Civil 
Servants ( Cmd . 7,71$) 

II. PRESENT POSITION 

(i) Parliamentary Candidature and Service 

7. Civil servants are generally disqualified by statute from sitting in 
the House of Commons. . . . The law on thfc subject of ^placemen” 
and “offices of profit 55 is complicated and in many respects obscure. 
It is, however, clear that Parliament’s consistent policy has been to 
prevent members of the House r ' of Commons from holding posts of the 
kind usually filled by civil servants. This policy has long been accepted 
as a fundamental feature of the British constitution. 

8. Apart from the rules which Parliament has laid down regarding 
its own composition, the Civil Service also has its disciplinary regula- 
tions prohibiting Parliamentary candidature without prior resigna- 
tion. ... In 1924 the Chancellor of the Exchequer appointed a com- 
mittee under the chairmanship of Lord Blanesburgh to inquire into 
the position. The Blanesburgh Committee unanimously recommended 
that the existing ban on Parliamentary candidature without prior 
resignation should be maintained for the whole of the non-industrial 
*@ivil Service. . . . 

9. The Government adopted those recommendations of the Blanes- 
burgh Report which, were unanimous, and to give effect to them the 
Servants of the Crown (Parliamentary Candidature) Order, 1927, was 
made, providing that “No person employed by or under the Crown to 
whom this Order applies shall issue an address to electors or in any 
other' - ' manner publicly announce himself, or allow himself to be 
publicly announced as a candidate or* 3 prospective candidate for 
election to Parliament until ho has retired ^ or resigned from such 
employment. 55 



289 


The Civil Service and Politics , 1949 

(ii) Other Political Activities 

15. The main forms of political activity in the national field, other 
than Parliamentary candidature, which we have had in mind . . . 
are: (a) holding office in party political organisations, whether national 
or local; (b) speaking on public platforms on party political matters; 
(c) writing letters to the press or publishing books or leaflets on party 
political matters ; (d) canvassing. 

16. There exists no universal regulation governing these matters 
comparable with that for Parliamentary candidature. Civil servants 
may vote and belong to political parties, but the only all-Service rule 
on the extent to which they may engage in general political activities 
— apart from the overriding limitations imposed by the Official 
Secrets Acts — is a general exhortation of long standing that “civil 
servants are expected to maintain at all times a reserve in political 
matters and not put themselves forward prominently on one side or 
the other.” This rule applies only to non-industrial staff. . . . 

(iii) Local Government Activities 

20. The only general instruction on the subject of participation in 
local government by civil servants refers to candidature and service on 
local councils and is contained in a Treasury Circular of 1909 which 
left it to tie Head of each Department to determine “whether, and, 
if so, upon what conditions, an officer of his Department may become 
a candidate for, or serve on, any local council provided that the 
duties involved . . . shall not conflict with the personal performance 
of the officer’s duties to his Department.” 'J«he Blanesburgh Report 
recommended that the matter remain one for departmental regulation, 
pointing out that, whilst the objections to Parliamentary candidature 
did not necessarily apply to local government candidature, it would 
clearly be wrong to allow candidature in the Departments whose 
duties consisted largely in the regulation of local authorities. . . . 

21. All industrial civil servants are allowed to take part in local 
government activities without any restrictions. . . . 

V. GENERAL PRINCIPLES 

37. . . . There are two such principles which we think vital, the first 
of which tells in favour of the removal of restrictions on civil servants’ 
political activities, the second in favour of their retention. In framing 
our recommendations we have constantly tried to find a balanoi 
between these two conflicting principles: # * 

(i) In a democratic society*it is desirable for all citizens to have a 
voice in the affairs of the Srate and for as many as possible to play an 
active part in public life. * 



The Executive 


290 

(ii) The public interest demands the maintenance of political impar- 
tiality in the Civil Service and of confidence in that impartiality as an 
essential part of the structure of Government in this country. 

38. . . . For the purposes of our enquiry . . . we have been obliged 
to distinguish between (a) the free expression of a man’s party-political 
views in private or through the ballot-box, and (b) their expression in 
public for the purpose of propagating the ideas of a political party. 

. . . The second is also a right for the ordinary citizen, but it is in 
practice relinquished by many. It is not in our view a right which 
cannot justifiably be limited or withheld in certain circumstances by 
other considerations if these are sufficiently important to the public 
interest as a whole. . . . The public interest demands, at least amongst 
those employees of the State who correspond with the common con- 
ception of the Civil Service, a manner of behaviour which is incom- 
patible with the overt declaration of party political allegiance. 

39. This incompatibility is obvious in the case of the Administrative 
Class who are the advisers of Ministers and assist in the making of 
policy. . . . The Administrative civil servant voluntarily enters a pro- 
fession in which his service to the public will take a non-political form. 
It w r ill consist in the wise and accurate estimation of the reasons for 
and against a particular course of action, formulated not for the pur- 
pose of influencing the public mind, but for ‘the benefit df^hose who 
actually have to take decisions. ... It is very unlikely that a civil servant 
formed by years of training and the exercise of administrative functions 
would hold clear-cut party views in the sense of being a consistent 
supporter of the entire programme of one party, even if on the whole 
his sympathies lay with it. . . . 

41. Only a very small proportion of the Service is, however, in close 
contact with Ministers. . . . The whole Administrative Class numbers 
only about 3,500 men and women, most of whom are stationed in 
Headquarters Departments in the Whitehall area. The Departments 
in which these Administrative staffs work are, however, composed of 
civil servants organised in divisions or branches, and made up of 
members of the various classes — Professional, Executive, Clerical and 
Typing — who work together as teams. All of them are, in differing 

•srays appropriate to the responsibilities of their rank, engaged at 
different stages on the same blocks of work, and each contributes in 
varying degree according to this status towards the decisions made by 
the Administrative officers or towards the submissions made to Minis- 
ters. The requirements of the work demand this grouping, and a real 
Sense of unity exists among the members of these different grades who 
workTogether as part of a single organisation ; we are satisfied that the 
same basic principles apply to all of thern^ alike. 

42. Outside the Whitehall Ministries the Civil Service is a very large 
and widely spread body of men and women who are engaged not in 



The Civil Service and Politics , 1949 291 

advising Ministers but in the condu’ct of practical business. ... In 
these cases, the essential factor is the relation of civil servants with the 
public rather than their relations with the Minister. First the work 
of these civil servants must in fact be completely impartial. Secondly, 
the public as a whole and the Press must be satisfied in their own 
minds that no suggestion of political bias enters into their treatment 
of individuals. . . . The importance of these considerations can hardly 
be exaggerated to-day when vital decisions* on claims for social benefits, 
assessment to tax, liability to various forms of national service, 
entitlement to certain rationed commodities, and many other aspects 
of daily life are being taken by officials often of humble rank. . . . 

43. There is finally to be considered the harmful effect upon the 
Service itself if the political allegiance of individual civil servants 
became generally known to their superior officers and colleagues. . . . 

44. It follows, in our opinion, that the principle hitherto observed in 
the Civil Service, that a civil servant maintains a certain reserve in 
political matters and does not put himself forward prominently on one 
side or the other, is plainly right for that part of the Service popularly 
associated with the phrase ‘Svhite-collab workers. 55 . . . 

48. Our general conclusion is that to preserve the attitude of detach- 
ment in all civil servants in whom its absence might adversely affect the 
public seiyite is so important as easily to outweigh any hardship felt 
by individuals who are deprived of the freedom to* propagate political 
views among their fellow citizens. It will certainly justify maintaining 
the deprivation in some cases in which the risk is only slight. The public 
service should, in our view, consistently be given the benefit of any 
doubt. Any weakening of the existing tradiudh of political impartiality 
would be the first step towards the creation of a Apolitical 55 Civil 
Service. . . . 


VI. APPLICATION OF GENERAL PRINCIPLES 

53. . . . We have come to the conclusion that it is both possible and 
necessary to draw a horizontal line of demarcation through the whole 
Service, putting above the line those who, because of the nature of 
their work, must be excluded from party-political activity, arfTT 
putting below it those to whom freedom to engage in political activities 
could be granted without prejudicial consequences. . . . 

(e) participation in local government 

82. There has been a substantial change in the character of local 
government since the issue ofThe Treasury Circular of 1909. . . . Thus 
local government tends nowadays more and more to be organised on 
party political lines corresponding to. those of national government, 



The Executive 


292 

and, if this trend continues, it seems likely that within a few years, all 
local government may be run on a purely party basis. . . .We doubt, 
however, whether this position has yet been reached. . . . 

86. . . . We feel it impossible in present circumstances to make a 
recommendation of a permanent nature. ... We have reached the 
conclusion that the existing arrangements should continue, for an 
experimental period of five years, subject to the substitution of a 
general rule for the whole Service in place of departmental rules. . . . 


VIII. SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS 

3. We . . . recommend that a line of demarcation be drawn below 
the Administrative, Professional, Scientific, Technical, Executive, 
Clerical and Typing grades and, apart from certain exceptions, above 
the Minor and Manipulative and the Industrial grades. Those 
below the line would be permitted greater liberty than those '&bove 
it. . . . 

5. All members of the gracfes “below the line 55 should be permitted 
to stand for Parliament without resignation unless they are elected. . . . 

The existing ban upon Parliamentary candidature should continue 
to apply to civil servants “above the line. 55 The rule under which civil 
servants who are p'eers of Parliament may attend in their place when 
their official duties permit but may not vote or take part in debate 
should also be maintained. 

6 . All grades of the Civil Service “below the line 55 should be com- 
pletely free to engage in all other forms of political activity, both 
national and local, subject only to the maintenance of overriding con- 
siderations such as the Official Secrets Acts and the ban on political 
activities while on duty or in official premises. 

0 7. All the grades “above the line 55 should continue to maintain a 
reserve in political matters. In national politics they should abstain 
from any public manifestation of their views which might associate 
them prominently with a political party. They should not ( a ) hold 
office in any party political association; (b) speak in public on matters 
"■sf party political controversy; ( c ) write letters to the Press, publish 
books or articles, or circulate leaflets setting forth their views on party 
political matters; (d) canvass in support of political candidatures. . . . 

10. Despite the growing tendency of local government to be run on 
party political lines w r e are averse from treating it at present in the 
^me way as national politics. . . . Civil servants “above the line 55 wish- 
ing to stand for local office should seek the permission of their Depart- 
ment. Permission should be granted wherever possible, subject to the 
applicant being able to comply with tije # convention requiring a 
reserve in political matters and avoid becoming involved in national 



The Civil Service and Politics , 1949 293 

party political controversy; this does not, however, preclude him from 
speaking in public, writing to the Press, or circulating leaflets setting 
forth his views, so long as he confines himself to local issues and acts 
with moderation. . . . 


THE POWER OF THE CABINET, 1950 

House of Lords Debates , 17 May 1990 ; Official Report , cc. 297 sqq . 

Viscount Cecil of Chelwood rose to move to resolve, That the 
growing power of the Cabinet is a danger to the democratic constitu- 
tion of the country. The noble Viscount said : It seems to me that 

if this state of things goes on, we are bound to have an increasing con- 
centration of power in the hands of the Administration — that is to 
say, the Cabinet — which will tend more and more to be an oligarchy 
consisting of individuals who, by political docility, have earned the 
approval of those who have control of the Party organisation. I know 
that any argument of the kind I have tried to present to your Lord- 
ships is always answered by saying that, after all, the Members of the 
House of Commons represent the electorate, and if the electorate dis- 
approve of them and of their subservience to the Government they can 
be rejected. But is that proposition true? In practice, the electorate 
cannot just choose anyone; they must choose a candidate put forward 
by some organisation. Moreover, if they dislil^ the behaviour of their 
Member, they can do nothing until *there is another General Election. 
The truth is that, under our present Constitution, when the Cabinet 
is once in power there is no way of effectively controlling it. . . . 

So the posidon really is this. The Cabinet, appointed by the Prime 
Minister, have dictatorial powers over the whole administrative func- 
tions of the Government, and the Prime Minister is answerable only 
to the majority of the House of Commons. Further, the membership 
of that majority owe their position to the political organisation of the 
Party of which the Prime Minister is the chief. If they show any dis- 
position to take an independent line, intimation is conveyed to then* 
that they will not be the Party candidates at the next Election. Even 
if any of them is supported by the local organisation which originally 
chose him, experience shows that that support will disappear under 
pressure from London. . . . 

The Lord Chancellor (Viscount Jowitt) : ... As I conceive i^ 
a democracy must provide the most adequate opportunities foi* dis- 
cussion and for criticism, unlike an autocracy under which laws are 
imposed without the peojb^ being given a chance to discuss them. 
But if a democracy is going to mean mere discussion^f this House or 



The Executive 


294 

the other place is to become a ihere talking shop, then that would be 
one of the greatest dangers with which we could be confronted. . . . 

The complexity of modern life demands inevitably that more and 
more must the Government of the day interfere with the individual. . . . 
In every country this has gone on, and in the complexity of life as it 
exists to-day it is inevitable that it should go on. The Cabinet is not 
cut off from contact with current opinion. Indeed, it is of the essence 
of the whole conception that the Cabinet should listen to what the 
House of Commons and the Members of the House of Commons are 
thinking and saying, and should listen to what the electorate are 
thinking and saying. It listens and it learns. In very truth, I may 
apply to such a body Carlyle’s witty saying: “I am the leader, therefore 
I must follow.” 

Consider what control Parliament has in making its opinion felt. It 
has the admirable system of Parliamentary Questions. I am told that 
there are something like 15,000 to 16,000 Questions every year. There 
is the Adjournment debate, and there is the possibility of Motions on 
the Adjournment. It is quite unreal to suppose that the Cabinet shut 
themselves off from the current or prevalent opinions of the day. I 
suppose it is common knowledge that one of the most frequent visitors 
to the Cabinet in this and in all other Governments has been the Chief 
Whip, in order of course that the Cabinet and the House "of Commons 
may be closely enmeshed. Sir David Maxwell Fyfe wrote an interesting 
and thoughtful article in the New English Review in March of last year, 
and on this topic of the extenf of control which the House of Commons 
exercises, he points 01# that although at that date the Government 
had lost only one by-election, twenty-three Ministers had come and 
gone. . . . 

I believe that the real danger to our system of democracy and 
freedom lies to-day in the possibility that it may not be prompt and 
Swift in action. By all means let us provide in every way we can the 
fullest and most adequate discussion but ... if we find that we have 
developed a system which is all talk and no action, then the minds 
of men will turn to some other system which does give them prompt 
action. The problem before democracy is to combine these two 
"things. I believe that the secret of the successful working of our Con- 
stitution . . . consists in the steady confidence which is reposed by 
Parliament in the Cabinet. If that confidence were withdrawn, we 
should have a series of short and unstable Governments until we might 
find that we had prepared the ground for some sort of despotism. . . . 
r Viscount Simon: ... To my mind, the question is not one of Cabinet 
solidarity, or of the necessity of unity of decision in a Cabinet; it is a 
question of the extent to which in recent times a Cabinet once in 
office has felt sure that it can do wh^t it likes without effective 
challenge; anchrit is a question as to whether there is not increased 



The Power of the Cabinet , 1950 295 

submissiveness in the ordinary Member of Parliament to those who 
are his leaders, with the result that in fact Ministers possess a greatly 
increased power compared with what they used to have. . . . 

... I wonder whether there is not a development — in my view, an 
exaggerated and distorted development — of the doctrine of electoral 
mandate. There is nothing we hear so frequently nowadays as: “You 
may not like this, but the Government have a mandate from the 
electors to do it. 55 Subject to those who know more about our electoral 
history than I do, ... I do not think the practice into which we have 
fallen of having at the beginning of every General Election an elaborate 
electoral programme, covering all sorts of topical subjects designed to 
attract the votes of different sections of the electorate — town and 
country, service people, officials, the poor voter, everybody — is of very 
ancient date. It is a comparative novelty. . . . 

The doctrine is now current . . . that once a Government is installed 
in power after a General Election, the Government has an absolute 
unquestioned authority in all circumstances to carry out by legislation 
every item in that listed programme, how T ever casually it may appear 
in the manifesto. ... I think it is a mistake to treat the electorate, the 
sovereign power in this country, as though they acted on the day of a 
General Election in putting a particular Government into power, and 
that they ^hen went to sleep until there is another General Election, 
when they suddenly wake up and, as often as not, reverse the decision 
they gave before. 

I submit . . . that that is not a proper analysis of our constitutional 
arrangements. I submit that the true view i$ that the electorate is 
sovereign all the time and, like other people, influenced in its judg- 
ment by experience, reflection and argument, and. it may be, greater 
wisdom. . . . [It] is not the case that, on the true view, the electorate 
has put into power a Government which is authorised beyond all 
question to operate as it pleases until the next General Election comae 
along. That, to my mind, is the real question which is involved in 
what w r e are discussing. . . . 

It is not that anyone challenges the constitutional proposition of 
Cabinet unity. It is not that anybody seeks to deny the essential rule 
that the Cabinet must act together and stand together. That is elemer^- 
tary. The question is: To what extent can this united body act without 
any serious consideration of what critics may say, because they think: 
“We are dead safe; we have enough people here to vote for us” ? Their 
supporters may not have heard a word of the argument; they may not 
themselves think the Cabinet is right, but, after all, “They vote for us^ 
every vote counts, and that is all that matters.” ... ^ * 

... Is there not something in the proposition that, if you really 
embrace the theory*of Socialism, it leads not to democracy but dan- 
gerously near to a form 01' dictatorship ? . . . [The] ^>oint is, are we 



The Executive 


296 

not in fact drifting into a position in which the Cabinet not only is a 
solid Cabinet of people who act together, as of course they always 
must do, but can count on a mechanical majority which in no circum- 
stances will desert them whatever be the extravagance to which they 
propose to go ? ... I cannot help feeling that in earlier days the private 
Member in fact had much more influence behind the scenes, as well 
as in the voting Lobby, than the private Member has to-day. ... I 
do not at all deny that we must see developments, and it may be that 
in some ways the developments are good and necessary. There are a 
great many things which must, because of their nature, be governed 
by regulation, and which cannot be made the subject of express 
statutory enactment and amendment. The real question is: Have we 
not tended to drift into a situation in which the increasing subservience 
of the private Members of the House of Commons in effect threatens 
to turn our constitutional system into a system in which the Govern- 
ment feel no restraint at all upon what they propose to do ? . - - 


CABINET PAPERS, 1951 

House of Commons Debates , 5 December iggi ; Official Report , c. 2,gg6. 

Mr. Frederick c Peart asked the Prime Minister what 'restrictions 
are placed on the use of Cabinet papers and Ministerial documents for 
the purpose of authorship anci publication. 

The Prime Minister (Mr. Winston Churchill) : Former Ministers 
may at any time have Access to Cabinet papers issued to them while 
they were in office, but no disclosure of the proceedings of the Cabinet 
may be made without the permission of the King. In view of the provi- 
sions of the copyright and the official secrets Acts, no disclosure of other 
official documents must be made without prior consultation with the 
Government of the day. . . . 


TREASURY CONTROL, 1951 

Fourth Report of the Committee of Public Accounts , iggo-gi 
The Committee of Public Accounts have made further progress in 
the matters to them referred, and have agreed to the following Fourth 
Report : — 

GENERAL 

TREASURY COICTROL 

i. Your Committee have devoted considerable attention during 
the course of *he Session to the question of Treasury control of 



Treasury 'Control, igyi 297 

expenditure. . . . Instances of apparent extravagance and waste of 
public funds have been brought to their notice . . . and they felt it was 
their duty to ascertain whether Treasury control is now as effective 
as it used to be. 

2. The field of public expenditure has grown enormously since 1914, 
both in size and in scope, and the changes which have taken place, 
especially since 1939, could not fail to have produced some changes in 
the relations between the Treasury and the spending Departments. 
Moreover, the Treasury have now assumed responsibility in the sphere 
of economic planning, and their duties are no longer confined to those 
of “prudent housekeeping. 55 The Treasury submitted a memorandum 
in which they explained the changes which were effected in the early 
I920 5 s with the full concurrence of the Committee of Public Accounts 
at that time and set out the scope of Departmental and Treasury 
responsibility, with particular reference to the responsibilities of 
Accounting Officers of Government Departments. Since then these 
appoirftments have been held by the Permanent Heads of Departments. 

3. The Treasury memorandum explains that three separate stages in 
the expenditure of public moneys by a Department may be recognised. 
The first is the formulation and submission of a proposal, its approval 
and the granting of the financial authority. The second is the execution 
or administration of the *project. Though this stage is primarily the 
responsibility of the Departments and their Accounting Officers, the 
Treasury have a general responsibility for se^ng that any Department 
is so organised and staffed that it can adequately fulfil this responsi- 
bility. They moreover require to be kept in tou^h with the progress of 
the expenditure, so that they may keep a wafch on the total govern- 
ment spending, both current and prospective: on major schemes, 
formal periodical reports are rendered to them. The Treasury exercise 
complete control over all Departments in the salaries and numbers of 
their staff. The third and final stage is the audit stage, at which tho 
outcome of the expenditure is examined, and both the Accounting 
Officer and the Treasury appear as witnesses before the Public 
Accounts Committee. 

4. Your Committee enquired as to the detailed means by which the 
Treasury satisfy themselves that the amount of an estimate is reason*, 
able and as to who in fact carries out the cross-examinations of experts 
to ensure that any proposal is sound. They were informed that the 
work is carried out by the whole range of the administrative staff of the 
Treasury, recruited through open competition and by promotion from 
lower grades; that officers are in their early years moved about as^ 
much as possible from one division to another so as to gain^ varied 
experience, which is considerea preferable to expert knowledge; and 
that, in the opinion *p£ the treasury, control is as effectively main- 
tained now as in the past and, on occasions, Heads ^f Departments 



298 The Executive 

complain that it is so meticulous and so detailed that work cannot 
proceed as quickly as it ought. Your Committee give full weight to 
these facts and contentions. 

5. In short, the Treasury accept full responsibility for examining 
and approving proposals for expenditure, but responsibility for execu- 
tion and administration is placed primarily on the Accounting Officers. 
The Treasury claim that, by placing responsibility where it now rests, 
they have achieved a better understanding with Departments and that 
control of expenditure is in fact more effective than under the former 
system. Nevertheless, the Treasury would not claim that control could 
not be made still more effective by learning from experience how to 
keep Departments up to the mark without bringing under direct 
Treasury control a very large mass of relatively small and detailed 
matters. In particular, the Treasury are developing a system under 
which their officers keep in constant touch with their £ Opposite 
numbers 55 in the spending Departments on all broad issues of policy 
which affect finance and seek to influence that policy so as to 'secure 
economical expenditure and administration. 

6. Your Committee see no reason to differ from the general conten- 
tion of the Treasury that the present division of responsibility between 
that Department and the Accounting Officers of other Government 
Departments is broadly on sound lines, int6nded to create a proper 
sense of economy throughout the Civil Service. There are, however, 
certain observations on the operation of the present method of control 
which they think might usefully be recorded and considered. 

r, 

(i) Position of Public Accounts Committee 

7. In their memorandum the Treasury referred more than once to 
the position of the Public Accounts Committee and to the duty of each 
Accounting Officer to be answerable to that Committee. This is an 
accepted and valuable factor in Parliamentary control of expenditure, 
but Your Committee wish to make it clear that the procedure of 
accounting to the Legislature for past expenditure should not be 
invoked as lessening the need for the fullest control by the Executive 
of prospective and current expenditure. 

gr- 
ill) Position of Accounting Officers 

8. Accounting Officers are appointed by the Treasury, but the 
Treasury memorandum explained that as Permanent Secretaries they 
remain responsible to their Ministers for economy and to the Public 
Accounts Committee for justifying the management of their Depart- 
ments. The Treasury agreed in evidence that Accounting Officers, 
though not servants of the Treasury, had a certain responsibility to 
that Department but that their constitutional ^responsibility was to 
their own Ministers. Your Committee recommend that consideration 



299 


Treasurj'Control , igyi 

should be given to the question whether the link between Accounting 
Officers and the Treasury should not be further defined and strength- 
ened in practice. 

(Hi) Position of Principal Finance Officers 

9. In their memorandum the Treasury laid some stress on the fact 
that normally within each Department there is, under the Permanent 
Secretary and Accounting Officer, a Principal Finance Officer, whose 
appointment or removal is, like that of the Permanent Secretary, him- 
self, reserved for the consent of the Prime Minister. This fact, the 
Treasury stated, greatly strengthens the hand and position of these 
officers. While the officer holding this position should no doubt remain 
on the staff of the Accounting Officer, Your Committee are glad to 
note the importance attached by the Treasury to Iris special position; 
they take the view that officers holding this post should be graded as 
among the most important officers of Departments and should be 
encouraged to put forward their view T s on all matters of finance to 
Ministers and Accounting Officers before decisions are reached. It is 
important, in Your Committee’s view*, that all Ministers should be 
aware of the special conditions relating to this post and they were glad 
to learn that the Treasury felt certain that this was the case. Much of 
the value of <he procedure must depend on general knowledge of its 
existence. 

(■ iv ) Disciplinary Action when Losses occur * 

10. In their memorandum the Treasury referred to the financial 
liability of Accounting Officers for making gdbd deficits which might 
be disallowed, and Your Committee enquired whether similar disci- 
plinary action was ever taken in the Civil Service against officers 
responsible by their neglect for losses of public funds. The Treasury 
were of the opinion that, where responsibility could be brought homt?u. 
for real mismanagement and obvious errors, an undue tolerance was 
not shown, though it might be that in rather minor matters the public 
service does not always demand dismissal where an outside employer 
would. There were other ways of making disapproval known. There 
are noted in the Appropriation Accounts numerous cases of prosecu^ 
tion of officers for dishonesty, and Your Committee think that some 
lessons might usefully be drawn from an examination of the practice 
of other large organisations in dealing with incompetence as well as 
with fraud. 

(v) Treasurf s Exercise of Virement ^ 

11. The Treasury have the Sble right to approve virement, that is, 
the transfer of a savir^g on on£ subhead of a Vote to meet excess expen- 
diture on another subhead, ‘and have informed Departments that it is 



3 00 


The Executive 


not to be assumed that authority for this procedure will be automa- 
tically forthcoming. Whenever it appears probable that a subhead may 
be exceeded, Treasury authority should forthwith be sought for the 
excess. They have, moreover, told Departments that savings on sub- 
heads which are largely unrelated to the general run of the Vote will 
not be regarded as available for use to meet excesses elsewhere on the 
Vote. Cases occur in which the Treasury refuse to sanction virement, 
but they were unable to give the number of such cases in recent years. 

12. Your Committee regard this as an important duty of the Trea- 
sury in the field of financial control. Though Parliament appropriates 
money by Votes which often cover all a Department’s activities, the 
Estimates are presented under numerous subheads and Parliament 
might w r ell feel that a larger sub-division of Votes would be required 
if they could not rely on strict Treasury control in this matter. Your 
Committee trust, therefore, that the Treasury will limit their sanctions, 
for virement to cases which they feel quite certain that Parliament 
would approve and will insist on Supplementary Estimates rather than 
approve virement between subheads providing for services of a 
different nature. 

(vi) Treasury Nominees 

13. In recent years an increasing volume, of governmental activity 
has been entrusted, not to Government Departments with* their own 
Accounting Officers, answerable directly to the Committee of Public 
Accounts, but to independent or semi-independent bodies, generally 
appointed by Ministers and financed from public moneys, but not 
directly responsible to ‘Parliament. Your Committee have therefore 
looked into the question of Treasury control over the expenditure of 
such bodies, and in particular have enquired whether the Treasury 
normally appoint a nominee on the governing board of the organisa- 
tion, as they formerly did on the Boards of the Special Area Trading 
Estates Companies. The Treasury said that in their experience such 
appointments were of doubtful value; bankers did not put a bank 
director on the Board of every company to which they lent money, 
and the Treasury would regret any general rule that they themselves 
should do so. 

14. It has unfortunately been the experience of Your Committee 
that there has been some laxity of control of public expenditure in a 
number of bodies of this type and, while they appreciate the reasons 
which make the normal departmental system of control inappropriate, 
they think that some tighter degree of control is called for over the 
"Ynancial transactions of some of these bodies, particularly where the 
whole df their income is derived from the Exchequer. They suggest 
therefore that, with this end in view, Treasury nominees should be 
appointed to some of these bodies, either as-full members or as assessors 



Treasury .Control^ igyi 301 

— not with any power of veto over expenditure but with the duty of 
advising their colleagues in financial matters and of reporting from 
time to time to the Treasury on the financial policy and prospects of 
the body. . . . 

(yii) Grants in Aid 

15. Many of the bodies referred to in the last paragraph are financed 
by grants in aid, and the Treasury in their Memorandum said that such 
bodies naturally tend to have considerably greater liberty of action 
than ordinary Government Departments. The Treasury approve the 
estimate for the grant in aid, but once the amount of it has been 
settled no attempt will normally be made to exercise a very detailed 
control over the organisation’s activities. The bodies in receipt of 
grants in aid differ widely in character and in the degree of Depart- 
mental control. They are not generally required to relinquish at the 
end of the financial year any surplus left unspent, and in many instances 
the Cqjmptroller and Auditor General has no access to their books and 
accounts. 

16. Your Committee are fully alive to the important functions com- 
petently carried out by many of these bodies. They are, however, of 
the opinion that a too rapid increase of expenditure in this direction 
is unhealthy^ that new bodies should receive grants only after most 
careful scrutiny and enquiry by the Departments concerned; and that 
the books and accounts of all bodies which receive the greater part of 
their income from public funds should -be open to inspection by the 
Comptroller and Auditor General so that he may, if necessary, report 
on them to Parliament, ... 

(yiii) Conclusion 

18. . . . Your Committee . . . are aware that the Treasury staff is 
much larger than it used to be, but they also have in mind that in the. 
last forty-five years Government expenditure has increased nearly 
forty-fold. The fact that a far larger proportion of the national income 
is spent by Government Departments obviously makes it desirable that 
the control of expenditure should be as exact as ever. But the broaden- 
ing of the functions of the Treasury from those of a Department com; 
cerned principally with good housekeeping to one seeking to guide the 
whole economic trend of the country must mean that it directs propor- 
tionately less of its attention to ensuring efficiency and economy in 
Departmental spending. The question that presents itself is whether 
this development has been allowed to go too far. 

19. Your Committee are impressed by the keen interest shown by 
senior officers of the Treasury $n these problems and are satisfied that 
the Treasury are as # anxiou# as they are themselves to maintain the 
traditional authority* of ‘Parliament over all expenditure of public 



The Executive 


3°2 

money. Nevertheless, they are hot sure that Treasury control is, as 
that Department claim, more effective than it was thirty years ago. In 
view of the paramount need for economy, they trust that the Treasury 
will not only discharge to the full the duties entrusted to them by 
Parliament of scrutinising and controlling public expenditure, particu- 
larly by bodies which are not directly accountable to Parliament, but 
will also give serious consideration to any changes in organisation 
which may be called for in the light of modem developments. 


POLITICAL ACTIVITIES OF CIVIL SERVANTS, 1953 

White Paper presented by the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to Parliament , 
March ig$3 ( Cmd . 8,783) 

6. On November 1st, 1949, it was announced that the Government 
would give immediate effect to that part of the [Masterman] Report 
which proposed to free some 450,000 civil servants from existing 
restrictions, but for the rest of the Civil Service the practice which pre- 
vailed before the Report was received would be maintained in force 
while further consideration was given to the matter. 

7. ... In coming to the decisions they have now made/ the Govern- 
ment have had th^ benefit of advice from a Committee of the National 
Whitley Council specially appointed to consider the possibility of 
extending the area of freedom beyond that recommended in the 
Masterman Report. 

8. This Whitley Committee suggested that it would be reasonable, 
practicable and consistent with the general principles underlying the 
Masterman Committee’s recommendations, to modify the Masterman 
scheme by dividing the non-industrial Civil Service, not into the two 
-categories of the completely free and the restricted, as recommended 
by the Masterman Committee, but into three categories. The third 
category would be intermediate between the two proposed by the 
Masterman Committee and would be formed by dividing the Master- 
man restricted category into two parts : those restricted . . . ; and those 
^ho, while not completely free like those below “the Masterman line,” 
would be eligible for very considerable freedom to be granted or with- 
held by Departments according to the closeness or otherwise of the 
individual’s contact with the public. This freedom, where granted, was 
to be subject to certain understandings about reserve in public utter- 
jances on party political matters. . . . 

10; Iq considering the extent to which civil servants should be free 
to take part in political activities the Government have had constantly 
in mind the two conflicting principles w'iiich are at the heart of this 
question. On the one hand — to quote the words of the Masterman 



Political Activities' of Civil Servants, 1953 303 

Committee — it is desirable in a democratic society “for all citizens to 
have a voice in the affairs of the State and for as many as possible to 
play an active part in public life.” On the other, “the public interest 
demands the maintenance of political impartiality in the Civil Service 
and confidence in that impartiality as an essential part of the structure 
of Government in this country.” 

Having considered the Whitley Committee’s proposal, the Govern- 
ment have concluded that the creation of an intermediate class 
between the two classes proposed by the Masterman Committee repre- 
sents a fair and reasonable balance between the two fundamental but 
conflicting principles set out above, and that its introduction would 
not damage the interests of the State or the reputation of the Civil 
Service for political impartiality. 

The Government have therefore decided to introduce this scheme 
and it will be brought into force as soon as possible. 

11. . . . The Government have decided that the line should be 
drawn’as described in paragraph 18 of the [Whitley] Report and that 
the junior executive officer and analogous grades should be in the area 
of restriction. 

12. . . . canvassing will be barred to civil servants restricted in their 
poli deal activities and will be open to those in the intermediate group 
only by pe^nlission. > 

The Government agree however that rhe existing Post Office rule 
permitting canvassing by Post Office staff except where “'obviously 
incompatible with their official position’ * should be maintained. 

13. The practical effect of these decisions is substantially to increase 
the number of civil servants free to take part in political activities. . . . 

When these present decisions are put into effect the position will 
be that, out of a Civil Sendee of some 1,000,000 individuals, about 
62 per cent, will be completely free; something like another 22 per 
cent, will, subject to the acceptance of the need for discretion, be' 
free to take part in all activities except Parliamentary candidature; 
while only some 16 per cent, will be barred from taking part in national 
political activities — and of these as many as possible of those who seek 
it will be given permission to take part in local government and political 
activities in the local field. ... 

15. The Government are satisfied that the scheme . . . imposes 
restrictions on civil servants only where they are necessary if the confi- 
dence of the public in the political impartiality of the Civil Service is 
not to be impaired. To preserve this confidence political reserve must 
be maintained not only by those civil servants who work in the spheres^ 
where policy is determined: but also by those who work jp local 
offices and deal directly with l 3 ie individual citizen in relation to his 
personal circumstances. It i^the latter who are “the Civil Service” to 
the individual citizen. . . . 



3°4 


The Executive 


APPENDIX 

CML SERVICE NATIONAL WHITLEY COUNCIL 

Report of a Joint Committee . . . 

The Intermediate Class 

11. Civil Servants of the intermediate class would be eligible for 
permission to engage in all national political activities except Parlia- 
mentary candidature. 

12. The granting of permission would depend on the acceptance 
of a code of discretion , putting certain limitations on the extent to 
which, and the manner in which, the civil servant could express views 
on Governmental policy and national political issues generally. (Hence 
the exclusion of Parliamentary candidature from permissible activity : 
it would be impractical to demand discretion of this sort from a 
would-be Member of Parliament.) ... 

13. In deciding which of their intermediate class staff should be 
allowed this degree of freedom Departments would be influenced 
mainly by the criterion of remoteness of contact with the public and 
anonymity. 

14. The grades^to be included in the intermediate clasrs would be 
settled centrally. This having been done, each Department would 
divide its intermediate o*ass staff as follows: — 

(a) those to be covered by what might be called an open general 
licence to take part irr^all the national political activities open to the 
intermediate class, this open general licence being given to cover 
whole blocks of staff, so far as possible ; 

(b) those who must individually seek permission, which would be 
granted on the merits of the individual case according to the criterion 

'Indicated in paragraph 13 above. 

The detailed arrangements would be discussed with the depart- 
mental staff representatives, but within the machinery centrally laid 
down the decision would rest with the Department. 

15. Subject to certain special rules for those Departments (e.g. the 
Ministries of Housing and Local Government, Education, Health and 

Transport) in close official contact with local authorities, intermediate 
class staff with an open general licence for national political activities 
would be allowed to take part in local government and in political activities 
in the local field . , . subject to: — 

~ (4) the observance of the code of discretion referred to in paragraph 

12 abo*re; 

(b) the notification to their Department of election to a local 
authority. . r f 

Intermediate class staff not covered by open general licence could 



Political Activities* of Civil Servants, 1953 305 

seek permission to take part in local government activities and in 
political activities in the local field. Generally speaking, those to whom 
permission would be given to take part in national political activities 
would be given permission to take part in local government, etc., 
activities subject to the code of discretion. . . . Those not allowed to 
take part in national political activities would nevertheless, in as many 
cases as possible, be given permission to take part in local government 
and in political activities in the local field. This permission, which 
would be subject to a code of discretion requiring them to act with 
moderation, particularly in matters affecting their own Department 
— see Annex 2 — would cover freedom to hold local party political 
office, such as Ward Secretary, impinging only or primarily on local 
government activity, but not any office impinging only or primarily on 
party politics in the national field. 

16. Staff who were neither in the intermediate class nor in the area 
of complete freedom would not be allowed to take overt part in national 
political activities. But (subject to what is said in Paragraph 15 about 
the special position of certain Departments) they would be eligible to 
seek permission to take part in local government activities and in 
political activities in the local field. This permission would be given to 
the maximum extent which the circumstances permitted, subject to 
the observance of the code of discretion (Annex 2). 

17. Apart from a difference of opinion on the Staff Side’s proposition 

that canvassing, in a Parliamentary or a local election, is not such a 
public manifestation of party political views that it need be forbidden 
to anyone . . . the tw r o Sides are in agreement on this conception of 
the intermediate class. , * 

18. The question then is, what grades should be included in this 
class? The two Sides are agreed that it should include the following: — 

(a) typists, clerical assistants, clerical officers, and their analogues — 
general Service and departmental; 

(b) grades parallel to those in ( a ), i.e. grades of roughly the same 
status, whether general Service or departmental, e.g. scientific assistant; 

(c) departmental grades known as the intermediate clerical grades 
(a very small group) ; 

(d) grades parallel to the general Service grade of junior executi^p 
officer, i.e. grades which, not being in an executive class, either general 
Service or departmental, or in a class analogous thereto (e.g. the 
information officer class) are of roughly the same status, e.g. draughts- 
men, leading draughtsmen, assistant experimental officer, experimental 
officer, technical grades 2 and 3; 

(e) Post Office manipulative supervising officers who, not *>eing 
within the area of freedom as recommended in the MastermamReport, 
have salary scales v^hose maximum is not higher than, or not much 
higher than the maximum of the junior executive officer scale. 



The Executive 


3°6 

ig. So constituted, the intermediate class would include about 
290,000 staff. Of these it is estimated that some 185,000 would be 
given an open general licence (see paragraph 14). Of the 100,000 or 
so who would have individually to seek permission to take part in 
national political activities, probably about 45,000 would get it. The 
great majority of those who would not get it would be in local offices 
of the Ministry of Labour and National Service, the Ministry of 
National Insurance, the Inland Revenue, and the National Assistance 
Board. Those not allowed to take part in national political activities 
would be given permission to take part in local government activities 
to the maximum extent which the circumstances of the particular case 
permitted. . . . 

ANNEX I 

Code of Discretion for those who, though not completely free politically, 
are allowed to take part in both national political activities and local 
government and political activities in the local field. * 

A certain discretion is required of those civil servants who, not being 
within the area of complete political freedom, are nevertheless given 
permission to take part in national political activities (other than 
Parliamentary candidature) and in local, government and local 
political ac tivi ties . r All such staff should bear in mind th£t they are 
servants of the public, working under the direction of Her Majesty’s 
Ministers forming the Gbverjiment of the day. While they are not 
debarred from advocating or criticising the policy of any political 
party, comment shoula he expressed with moderation (particularly in 
relation to matters for which their own Minister is responsible) and 
should avoid personal attacks. They should use every care to avoid the 
embarrassment to Ministers or to their Department which could result, 
whether by inadvertence or not, from the actions of a person known to be 
a civil servant who brings himself prominently to public notice in party 
political controversy. 

ANNEX II 

Code of Discretion for those who, though not allowed to take part in 
^ national political activities, are allowed to participate in local 
government and political activities in the local field. 

The permission to participate in local government and in political 
activities in the local field granted to civil servants not free to partici- 
pate in national political activities is subject to the condition that they 
act witfy moderation and discretion, particularly in matters affecting 
their own Department and that they take care not to invoice themselves 
in matters of political controversy which'" are of national rather than 
local significance. 



SECTION IV 

Judicial Proceeding 




LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD v. ARLIDGE, 1914 


House of Lords , A.C. , [rpij] 

Appeal from a decision of the Court of Appeal, reversing a decision 
of the Divisional Court. 

Viscount Haldane, L.C.: My Lords, the question which has to be 
decided in this case is whether the appellants, the Local Government 
Board, have validly dealt with an appeal brought before them under 
the provisions of s. 17 of the Housing and Town Planning Act, 1909. 
The respondent is the assignee of a lease of a dwelling house, No. 83, 
Palmerston Road, in the metropolitan borough of Hampstead. On 
12 January 1911, the borough council made an order under s. 17, 
sub-s. 2, of the Act to which I have referred, prohibiting the use of the 
house for habitation until in their judgement it had been rendered fit 
for that purpose. On 7 March 1911, the respondent gave notice of 
appeal to the Local Government Board. That Board intimated, in 
accordance with s. 39 of the Act and with the rules which it had made 
thereunder, that it would not decide the appeal without having held 
a local inquiry. A public inquiry was, as the result, held on 24 May 
1 91 1 bef^re'Mr. Edward Leonard, one of the housing inspectors of the 
Board designated for that purpose, who also made A personal inspection 
of the house on 2 June following. The respondent had furnished the 
Board with copies of reports of certain experts whom he had consulted, 
such reports being to the effect that the houses was perfectly habitable, 
and that there was no justification* for the closing order. The respon- 
dent had intimated that he should decline to attend the inquiry, and 
he did not appear or tender evidence. On 6 June the inspector sub- 
mitted to the Board his report of the inspection, and on 29 July 19 1 1 
the Board, after considering the report and the other documents 
before them, confirmed the closing order. On 1 1 August, the respondent 
applied to the Board to state a special case under s. 39, sub-s. 1 (a), 
of the Act for the opinion of the High Court, raising the point that the 
order of 29 July was invalid, because (a) the report of the inspector 
had been treated as a confidential document and had not been dis- 
closed to the respondent, and (b) because the Board had declined to 
give the respondent an opportunity of being heard orally by the 
person or persons by whom the appeal was finally decided, in addition 
to the opportunity which he had had of stating and arguing his case 
before the inspector. The Board declined to state a case, and t 3 \e 
respondent did not, as he could have done under the Act, apjphT to the 
High Court for an order calling on the Board to state it. 

My Lords, in thgymeanfeie the respondent applied to the borough 
council to determine the closing order having regard to repairs which 



2 io Judicial Proceedings 

he had effected, and on 5 October igu the council refused on the 
ground that the premises had not been rendered by such repairs fit 
for habitation. On 19 October the respondent appealed again to the 
Board, this time against the refusal to determine the closing order. I 
pass over certain communications and proceedings relating to the 
technical points taken by the respondent, inasmuch as these have 
ceased to be of importance, and I come to 25 November 1911. On this 
date the Board gave notice to the respondent of their intention to hold 
a second public local inquiry with respect to his appeal against the 
refusal of the borough council to determine the closing order. The 
inquiry was held on 8 December before the same inspector. The 
respondent was present with his solicitor and witnesses, and the 
borough council and the London County Council were also repre- 
sented. The respondent’s solicitor argued his case, and the respondent 
and his witnesses gave evidence. On 13 December the inspector sub- 
mitted to the Board his report, together with a shorthand note of the 
evidence and speeches. On 8 January 1912 the Board intimated#to the 
respondent that it would be willing to consider any further statement 
in writing which he desired to submit to it. The respondent did not 
avail himself of this opportunity, but applied for writ of certiorari to 
remove the order of the Board into the King’s Bench Division to be 
quashed, on the ground that the appeal hadr not been determined in 
the manner provided by the law. The points taken were that the 
appeal had been decide d neither by the Board nor by any one law- 
fully authorised to act for them, and that the procedure adopted by 
the Board was contrary r to natural justice in that the respondent had 
not been afforded an opportunity of being heard orally before the 
Board. I assume further, what appears to have been the case, that the 
point was also taken that the report of the inspector on the second 
inquiry was not disclosed to the respondent. This point was certainly 
afterwards argued in the Court of Appeal. 

The case was heard before Ridley, Coleridge, and Bankes, JJ. 
Among the affidavits which they had before them was one by Sir 
Horace Monro, the Permanent Secretary of the Board, who stated that 
the decision was come to after full and careful consideration of the 
reports made by the inspector, and of the evidence and documents, 
including the observations and objections put forward in the corre- 
spondence by the respondent’s solicitors. He referred to the invitation 
already mentioned, addressed by the Board to the respondent’s 
solicitors, to place before it in writing any further statement the 
respondent might desire it to consider. He said that the appeal had 
been determined judicially on the report of the inspector, and the 
evidence taken by him (although witnout any oral hearing of the 
respondent beyond that of the inquiry), »*n the game manner in all 
respects as it h&d been customary as regards other appeals to the 



Local Government' Board v, Arlidge, 1914 311 

Board. He referred to a formal order of the Board, signed by the 
President, and by the assistant secretary, dismissing the appeal. 

On these facts the learned judges of the King’s Bench Division 
declined to hold that the appeal had not been properly disposed of, 
both in form and in substance. . . . 

The Court of Appeal, consisting of Vaughan Williams, Buckley, and 
Hamilton, L .JJ., by a majority took a different view and reversed the 
decision. Vaughan Williams, L.J., held that the appeal was one inter 
partes, the respondent and the Hampstead Local Board being the 
opposing parties. He thought that the duty of the Board was to hear 
both sides, and to disclose all the evidence of fact placed before them, 
and the conclusions of law adopted by them as the basis of their 
decision. He held that the non-production to the respondent of the 
inspector’s reports was contrary to the principles of natural justice, 
and that, in the absence of a plain direction in the statute abrogating 
the necessity of observing these principles in dealing with the reports, 
the principles of English justice had been violated. He appeared 
further to think that the absence of any statement by or on behalf of 
the Board as to which of its members* considered the appeal was a 
further objection to the validity of the Board’s order. 

Buckley, L.J., thought the importance of the general question which 
was raised very great. It* was increasingly common for statutes to em- 
power Government departments to decide questiorfs affecting rights of 
property , and it was of the first importance thg.t their proceedings should 
be so conducted as to command the confidence Gf the public, and that 
the principles applicable in their conduct shqjild be well understood. 
A mere power to make rules determining the procedure in such appeals 
did not obviate the necessity of such rules being in accordance with 
natural justice. It was essential that each of the parties should know 
the case the other made and should be heard in the other’s presence. 
Assuming that it could be validly provided that the original hearing 
should assume the form of a statement in writing, it was not clear 
that a party who subsequently desired to be heard orally could be 
debarred from claiming to be so heard. 

The learned Lord Justice thought that as the local authority was the 
authority against which the appeal to the Board was brought, it was 
in one sense not a party litigant, but, as it could be ordered to make 
a counter-statement and to pay or receive costs , for all material pur- 
poses it was not to be distinguished from a party litigant, and there- 
fore the other party ought to know the case it made. Having regard to 
the terms of s. 5 of 34 & 35 Viet., c. 70, which constituted the Boar$ 
and provided that anything to be done on its behalf might b^done by 
the President or any member? or by a secretary or assistant secretary 
authorised by its General ^Order, the inspector was not within the 
class of persons who could decide anything. If he n^ade a report on 



3 1 2 Judicial Proceedings 

a public inquiry held by him it should be made public. A case could 
not be argued before one man and decided by another. The respondent 
had therefore no real opportunity of presenting his case when he was 
invited by the letter of 8 January 1912 to do so, for he was not permitted 
to see the report. 

Hamilton, L.J., was of a different opinion. The practice, he said, 
of the Board, like that of its predecessor the Poor Law Board, had 
always been to dispose by correspondence of appeals even in important 
matters such as an auditor’s disallowance of items, and in treating the 
inspector’s report as confidential it was only following an old and well- 
known practice. The question was whether, if the statute itself did not 
in terms authorise the practice, it was contrary to natural justice, “an 
expression sadly lacking in precision.” He referred to several prece- 
dents, and came to the conclusion that it was a sound inference, to be 
drawn as matter of construction, that the Legislature, aware, as he 
took it to have been, of the practice as to these inquiries and its inci- 
dents, intended that the local inquiry which it prescribed should be 
the usual local inquiry, and that the usual incidents should attach in 
default of any special enactment, including the incident that the 
Board should treat the report as confidential. He was of opinion that 
what had been done was in accordance with the Act of 1909. 

My Lords, I have thought it important to set out with .some fulness 
the conflicting view's in the Court of Appeal. It is obvious that two of 
the judges there based their conclusions on the principle that in the 
absence of a direction to the contrary, which they could not find in the 
statute, the analogy of the procedure in a Court of justice must guide 
them. Hamilton, L.J., ofi the contrary, thought that he found in the 
statute a scheme of procedure that excluded this analogy. Which of 
these opinions was right can only be determined by referring to the 
language of the Legislature. Here, as in other cases, we have simply 
to-construe that language and to abstain from guessing w r hat Parlia- 
ment had in its mind, excepting so far as the language enables us to 
do so. There is no doubt that the question is one affecting property and 
the liberty of a man to do what he chooses with what is his own. Such 
rights are not to be affected unless Parliament has said so. But Parlia- 
ment, in what it considers higher interests than those of the individual, 
has so often interfered with such rights on other occasions, that it is 
dangerous for judges to lay much stress on what a hundred years ago 
would have been a presumption considerably stronger than it is 
to-day. . . . 

_ The closing of dwelling-houses as being dangerous or injurious 
to health, or unfit for habitation, is no new jurisdiction. The Housing 
of the Working Classes Act, 1890, gave to the local authority the 
pow r er to take proceedings to enforce penalties ^and closing orders 
before Courts of summary jurisdiction, to *be hollowed, in certain 



Local Government' Board v. Arlidge , 1314 313 

circumstances, by demolition orders. Under that Act the owner of the 
house had an appeal to quarter sessions. The power of closing was 
somewhat extended by the Housing of the Working Classes Act, 1903, 
but the principle of the application being to a Court of justice remained 
the same. A change of this principle was introduced in the Housing 
and Town Planning Act, 1909. The local authority was empowered 
itself to make the closing order, certain gonditions having been com- 
plied with, and it was given power to determine the closing order if 
satisfied that the house in respect of which the order had been made 
had subsequently been rendered fit for habitation. In respect of both 
a closing order and a determining order the owner w r as given a right 
of appeal. But the appeal was to be, not as before to quarter sessions, 
but to the Local Government Board. Stringent powers of inspection 
were given to both the local authority and the Local Government 
Board. In the case of an appeal, the procedure as to everything, includ- 
ing costs, was to be such as the Board might by rules determine. The 
Board was to have power to make such order on any appeal as it should 
think equitable. It could state a case, but only on a question of law, 
for the opinion of the High Court, and could be compelled by the High 
Court to do so. The rules w T ere to provide that the Board should not 
dismiss any appeal without having first held a public local inquiry. . . . 

My Lord?, it is obviohs that the Act of 1909 introduced a change 
of policy. The jurisdiction, both as regards original applications and 
as regards appeals, was in England transferred from Courts of justice 
to the local authority and the Local G6vernment Board, both of them 
administrative bodies, and it is necessary to consider what consequences 
this change of policy imported. • 

My Lords, when the duty of deciding an appeal is imposed, those 
whose duty it is to decide it must act judicially. They must deal with 
the question referred to them without bias, and they must give to each 
of the parties the opportunity of adequately presenting the case made. 
The decision must be come to in the spirit and with the sense of 
responsibility of a tribunal whose duty it is to mete out justice. But 
it does not follow that the procedure of every tribunal must be the 
same. In the case of a Court of law, tradition in this country has pre- 
scribed certain principles to which in the main the procedure must 
conform. But what that procedure is to be in detail must depend on 
the nature of the tribunal. In modern times it has been increasingly 
common for Parliament to give an appeal in matters which really 
pertain to administration, rather than to the exercise of the judicial 
functions of an ordinary Court, to authorities whose functions acp 
administrative and not in th^ ordinary sense judicial. Such**, body as 
the Local Government Board has the duty of enforcing obligations on 
the individual whic{i age ftnposed in the interests of the community. 
Its character is that of an organisation with executive functions. In 



314 Judicial Proceedings 

this it resembles other great departments of the State. When, there- 
fore, Parliament entrusts it with judicial duties, Parliament must be 
taken, in the absence of any declaration to the contrary, to have 
intended it to follow the procedure which is its own, and is necessary 
if it is to be capable of doing its work efficiently. I agree with the view 
expressed in an analogous case by . . . Lord Loreburn. In Board of 
Education v. Rice 1 he laid down that, in disposing of a question which 
was the subject of an appeal to it, the Board of Education was under a 
duty to act in good faith, and to listen fairly to both sides, inasmuch 
as that was a duty which lay on every one who decided anything. But 
he went on to say that he did not think it was bound to treat such a 
question as though it were a trial. The Board had no power to admin- 
ister an oath, and need not examine witnesses. It could, he thought, 
obtain information in any way it thought best, always giving a fair 
opportunity to those who were parties in the controversy to correct or 
contradict any relevant statement prejudicial to their view. If the 
Board failed in this duty, its order might be the subject of certiorari 
and it must itself be the subject of mandamus. 

My Lords, I concur in this Mew of the position of an administrative 
body to which the decision of a question in dispute between parties 
has been entrusted. The result of its inquiry must, as I have said, be 
taken, in the absence of directions in the statute to the contrary, to be 
intended to be reached by its ordinary procedure. In the case of the 
Local Government Board jX is not doubtful what this procedure is. The 
Minister at the head of the Board is directly responsible to Parliament 
like other Ministers. is responsible not only for what he himself 
does but for all that is cfone in his department. The volume of work 
entrusted to him is very great and he cannot do the great bulk of it 
himself. He is expected to obtain his materials vicariously through his 
officials, and he has discharged his duty if he sees that they obtain 
tbs^e materials for him properly. To try to extend his duty beyond this 
and to insist that he and other members of the Board should do every- 
thing personally would be to impair his efficiency. Unlike a judge in a 
Court he is not only at liberty but is compelled to rely on the assistance 
of his staff. When, therefore, the Board is directed to dispose of an 
appeal, that does not mean that any particular official of the Board 
is to dispose of it. This point is not, in my opinion, touched by s. 5 of 
33 & 34 Viet., c. 70, the Act constituting the Local Government Board 
to which I have already referred. Provided the work is done judicially 
and fairly in the sense indicated by Lord Loreburn, the only authority 
l^iat can review what has been done is the Parliament to which the 
Minister jn charge is responsible. The practice of the department in the 
present case was, I think, sufficiently sfiown by Sir Horace Monro’s 
affidavit to have been followed. In accordance with that practice the 

1 A.C., [1911] 179. 



Local Government 'Board, \\ Arlidge , 1914 3x5 

Board, in order to obtain materials with which to decide, appointed 
one of its health inspectors to hold a public inquiry. This was in 
accordance with the rules it had made under the section of the statute 
which I have quoted and with its usual practice. It is said that the 
report of the inspector should have been disclosed. It might or might 
not have been useful to disclose this report, but I do not think that the 
Board was bound to do so, any more than it would have been bound 
to disclose all the minutes made on the papers in the office before a 
decision was come to. It is plain from Sir Horace Monro’s affidavit 
that the order made was the order of the Board, and so long as the 
Board followed a procedure which was usual, and not calculated to 
violate the tests to which I have already referred, I think that the 
Board was discharging the duty imposed on it in the fashion Parlia- 
ment must be taken to have contemplated when it deliberately trans- 
ferred the jurisdiction, first, from a Court of summary jurisdiction to 
the local authority, and then, for the purposes of all appeals, from 
quarter sessions to an administrative department of the State. What 
appears to me to have been the fallacy of the judgement of the majority 
in the Court of Appeal is that it begs thS question at the beginning by 
setting up the test of the procedure of a Court of Justice, instead of the 
other standard which was laid down for such cases in Board of Education 
v. Rice. I^Io* not think the Board was bound to hear the respondent 
orally, provided it gave him the opportunities he actually had. More- 
over, I doubt whether it is correct to speak of the case as a lis- inter 
partes. The Hampstead Borough Council was itself acting adminis- 
tratively, although it had the right to appear, *and did appear, before 
the inspector and on the appeal, and might have to pay or receive 
costs. 

For the reasons I have given, I have arrived at the conclusion that 
the judgements of the Divisional Court and of Hamilton, L.J., in the 
Court of Appeal were right, and that this appeal should be allo*«ad 
with costs here and in the Court of Appeal, and that the order of the 
Divisional Court should be restored. 

Lords Shaw of Dunfermline, Parmoor and Moulton concurred. 

Order of the Court of Appeal reversed and order of the King’s Bench Division 
restored. 


ROBERTS y. HOPWOOD AND OTHERS, 1924 

House of Lords, [1925] A.C. $j 8 

Appeal from an order of the Court of Appeal reversing an^ order of 
the Divisional Court. 

Lord Buckmasti^r : My^Lords, the appellant in this case is the 
district auditor originally appointed by the Local Government Board 



3 1 6 Judicial Proceedings 

(now represented by the Minister of Health) for the purpose of auditing 
year by year the accounts of the metropolitan borough councils. In the 
performance of this duty he has surcharged the respondents, who are 
certain aldermen and councillors of the Poplar Borough Council, with 
the sum of £5,000 for the year between April i, 1921, and April 1, 

1922. The question on this Appeal is whether that surcharge has been 
lawfully made. 

Before considering the facts it would be well to examine the powers 
with which the district auditor is invested. These are to be found in 
s. 247 of the Public Health Act of 1875, a section rendered applicable 
to the accounts of the metropolitan borough councils by s. 14 of the 
London Government Act of 1899 and s. 71 of the Local Government 
Act of 1888. Sub-sect. 7 of s. 247 contains the directions imposing 
upon the auditor the duty of making disallowances and surcharges . . . : 
“Any auditor acting in pursuance of this section shall disallow every 
item of account contrary to law, and surcharge the same on the person 
making or authorising the making of the illegal payment, an$ shall 
charge against any person accounting the amount of any deficiency 
or loss incurred by the negligence or misconduct of that person, or of 
any sum which ought to have been but is not brought into account 
by that person, and shall in every such case certify the amount due 
from such person, and on application by any party aggrieved shall 
state in wridng the: reasons for his decision in respect of such disallow- 
ance or surcharge, and also of any allowance which he may have 
made.” It is to be observed that this sub-section consists of two 
branches; the first deals with the disallowance of every item contrary 
to law and surcharging *che sum as therein provided, and the second 
with the deficiency or loss incurred by negligence or misconduct which 
is to be charged against the person who is accounting. It is suggested 
that this latter provision is really applicable to the officers or assistants 
ofe^ny local authority whose accounts, by s. 250 of the Public Health 
Act, are also to be audited by the auditors. It is quite possible that this 
is the true explanation of the different branches of the sub-section, but 
its determination is unnecessary in the present case, because it is not 
alleged that there has been negligence or misconduct in any person. 
I t^is said that the amounts disallowed are contrary to law, and that 
the making of them constituted the making of an illegal payment, so 
that it is the first branch of the section alone with which this Appeal is 
concerned. . . . The power of revising the decision of the auditor is to 
be found in sub-s. 8, which enables a person aggrieved to apply for a 
writ of certiorari to remove the disallowance to the King’s Bench 
Division,^ where the whole matter is subject to revision. This is the 
course that has been adopted. An ordef nisi was obtained on June 26, 

1923, calling upon the district auditor to shpw cause why a writ should 
not issue against him, and upon the rule being "heard the Divisional 



Roberts v. Hopwood and Others , 1924 317 

Court, on November 21, 1923, dismissed the order calling upon the 
district auditor to show cause, and this decision was reversed by the 
Court of Appeal, Bankes, L .J., dissenting from the other members of 
the Court. 

The relevant facts which induced the district auditor to make the 
surcharges in question are as follows: — 

During the years 1920 and 1921 the ordinary rates of wages, whether 
measured by taking as a standard wages for the same work paid 
immediately before the war and adding thereto the percentage repre- 
senting the increased cost of living, or by taking the amounts fixed by 
the Joint Industrial Councils’ award as the proper sum to be added 
to the pre-war wage, showed violent oscillations. . . . The three 
classes of wages in respect of which the surcharges have been made 
were women (Grade A), general labourers, and men to whom the 
trade union scale for masons and paviors applied. So far as the women 
were concerned they were paid throughout from April 1, 1920, to 
April ^ 1923, at a level weekly wage of 805., the pre-war wage being 
23^. 6d., brought up by considering the added increased cost of living 
to 54^. 6d. on April 1, 1921, and descending to 43s. on April 1, 1922. 
The Joint Industrial Councils’ award gave for the month of April, 
1921, 69s. 6d.; for May, June and July, 62^. 6<L; for August, September 
and October ^7^. 6d ., from which level it descended bv steps to 51s. 6d. 
on April 1, 1922 and continued to descend to April *1923. 

. . . The district auditor, in determining the line above which he 
regards the payments as illegal, has taken the" pre-war rate, increased 
it by the cost of living and added to that a sum of 20 s. a week by way 
of margin. ... If the powers of the district council are limited to the 
payment of fair and even full wages, measured not actually in but by 
reference to the terms of standard rates fixed either by trade unions 
or by joint councils, there could, I think, be little objection to what 
the auditor has done, but the real difficulty in the present case liosj^i 
determining what is the limit of discretionary power given to the 
district council with regard to payment of wages. Now these powers 
are to be found in s. 62 of the Metropolis Management Act of 1855, 
which runs as follows: 4 ‘The Metropolitan Board of Works, and (sub- 
ject to the provisions herein contained) the board of works for eve^y 
district under this Act, and the vestry of every parish mentioned in 
Schedule (A) to this Act, shall respectively appoint or employ, or 
continue for the purposes of this Act, and may remove at pleasure, 
such clerks, treasurers, and surveyors, and such other officers and ser- 
vants as may be necessary, and may allow to such clerks, treasurers^ 
surveyors, officers, and servants respectively such salaries and wa'ges as 
the board or vestry may think f fit. 53 . . . 

. . . The discretion thus kgposed is a very wide one, and I agree with 
the principle enunciated by Lord Russell in the £ase of Kruse v. 



3 1 8 Judicial Proceedings 

Johnson ,1 that when such a discretion is conferred upon a local authority 
the Court ought to show great reluctance before they attempt to 
determine how T , in their opinion, the discretion ought to be exercised. 

Turning now to what the borough council have done, the reason for 
their action is to be found in the affidavit sworn by Mr. Scurr, Mr. 
Key, Mr. Lansbury and Mr. Sumner. In para. 6 of that affidavit they 
make the following statement: “The council and its predecessors the 
district board of works have always paid such a minimum wage to its 
employees as they have believed to be fair and reasonable without 
being bound by any particular external method of fixing wages, 
whether ascertainable by Trade Union rate, cost of living, payments 
by other local or national authorities or otherwise. 5 5 And if the matter 
ended there it would be my opinion that a decision so reached could 
not be impeached until it were shown that it was not hona fide , and 
absence of bona fides is not alleged in the present proceedings. Para. 9, 
however, of the same affidavit puts the matter in a different form. It 
is there said: “9 . . . The Council did not and does not take the view 
that wages paid should be exclusively related to the cost of living. They 
have from time to time carefully considered the question of the wages 
and are of the opinion, as a matter of policy, that a public authority 
should be a model employer and that a minimum rate of £4 is the 
least w r age which ought to be paid to an adult having regard to the 
efficiency of their workpeople, the duty of a public authority both to 
the ratepayers and to itsjemployees, the purchasing power of the wages 
and other considerations which are relevant to their decisions as to 
wages. 55 

Now it appears that oh August-31, 1921, a resolution was passed by 
the borough council to the effect that no reduction of wage or bonus 
should be made during the ensuing four months, and this was acted 
upon for the following twelve months. It was, I think, well within their 
pss^er to fix wages for a reasonable time in advance, and there are 
cogent reasons why this should be done, but that decision should be 
made in relation to existing facts, which they appear to have ignored. 
In August, 1921, the cost of living had been continuously falling since 
November of the previous year, and it continued to fall, so that it is 
difficult to understand how, if the cost of living was taken into account 
in fixing the wages for adult workers at a minimum basis of £4, the 
sharp decline in this important factor should have been wholly dis- 
regarded by the borough council. But the affidavit contains another 
statement, which I think is most serious for the council’s case. It states 
<$hat £4 a week was to be the minimum wages for adult labour, that 
is without the least regard to what that labour might be. It standardised 
men and women not according to the duties they performed, but 
according to the fact that they were adults. It is^ phis that leads me to 
1 [1898] 2 Q.B. 91, 99. 



Roberts v. Hopwood and Others , 319 

think that their action cannot be supported, and that in fact they have 
not determined the payment as wages, for they have eliminated the 
consideration both of the work to be done and of the purchasing power 
of the sums paid, which they themselves appear to regard as a relevant 
though not the dominant factor. Had they stated that they were 
determined as a borough council to pay the same wage for the same 
work without regard to the sex or condition of the person who per- 
formed it, I should have found it difficult to say that that was not a 
proper exercise of their discretion. It was indeed argued that this is 
what they did, but I find it impossible to extract that from the state- 
ment contained in the affidavit. It appears to me, from the reasons 
I have given, that they cannot have brought into account the con- 
siderations which they say influenced them, and that they did not base 
their decision upon the ground that the reward for work is the value 
of the work reasonably and even generously measured, but that they 
took an arbitrary principle and fixed an arbitrary sum, which was not 
a real exercise of the discretion imposed upon them by the statute. 

It is for these reasons that I think the Appeal should succeed. . . . 

Lord Sumner: . . . Passing now to s. 62 of the Metropolis Manage- 
ment Act, 1855, the respondents found themselves upon its final words, 
“such salaries and wages as the board or vestry may think fit,” and 
contend tjjat* in effect, they remove the amount of wages paid beyond 
the scope of effective criticism. The council may ‘pay in good faith 
what wages they please. It is not said that th<jv can pay, if they please, 
unreasonable wages, but that, for all purposes, what they please is 
what is reasonable. Their reason is substitute^ as the test of reason- 
ableness for that of the auditor or of the Courts of law. Ail the same 
the result is that expenditure, which is in fact wholly unreasonable, is 
on this view not contrary to law, if the council bona fide choose to 
incur it. This is a pure paradox. . . . 

The purpose, however, of the whole audit is to ensure wise 
prudent administration and to recover for the council's funds money 
that should not have been taken out of them. . . . [The auditor] has 
to restrain expenditure within proper limits. His mission is to inquire 
if there is any excess over what is reasonable. I do not find any words 
limiting his functions merely to the case of bad faith, or obliging him 
to leave the ratepayers unprotected from the effects on their pockets 
of honest stupidity or unpractical idealism. . . . 

Much was said at the Bar about the wide discretion conferred by 
the Local Government Acts on local authorities. In a sense this is 
true, but the meaning of the term needs careful examination. What, 
has been said in cases, which lie outside the provisions as # to audit 
altogether, is not necessarily applicable to matters, which are con- 
cerned with the expjnditur©of public money. There are many matters, 
which the Courts are indisposed to question. Though they are the 



320 Judicial Proceedings 

ultimate judges of what is lawful and what is unlawful to borough 
councils, they often accept the decisions of the local authority simply 
because they are themselves ill equipped to weigh the merits of one 
solution of a practical question as against another. This, however, is 
not a recognition of the absolute character of the local authority’s 
discretion, but of the limits within which it is practicable to question 
it. There is nothing about a borough council that corresponds to 
autonomy. It has great responsibilities, but the limits of its powers and 
of its independence are such as the law, mostly statutory, may have 
laid down, and there is no presumption against the accountability of 
the authority. Everything depends on the construction of the sections 
applicable. . . . 

Order of the Court of Appeal reversed and order of the King's Bench Division 
restored . 


THE KING v. MINISTER OF HEALTH, EX PARTE YAFFE, 1930 

[1930] 2 K.B. g8 ' 

Swift, J. : This tase raises an important point of constitutional law, 
which so far as I know h&s never yet been decided, although there are 
dicta to be quoted on one sideror the other. . . . 

The question raised .may I think be stated thus : When Parliament 
delegates its powers of legislation to a Minister of the Crown, and 
enacts that in certain circumstances he may make “an Order, 55 and 
that his Order “when made 55 shall have effect as if enacted in the Act, 
is it open to the Judiciary, if that alleged Order be challenged, to 
cer^ider whether in fact “an Order 55 has been made? 

By s. 40, sub-s. 3, of the Housing Act, 1925, it is provided that the 
Minister of Health in certain circumstances “may by Order 55 confirm 
a scheme. The Minister in this case alleges that he has made “an 
Order. 55 That fact is challenged, and it is said that he could not have 
made and did not make the alleged Order — Can the Courts of law 
interfere ? 

The question arises in this way: Part II of the Housing Act, 1925, 
imposes upon local authorities the duty of making schemes for the 
improvement of unhealthy areas in their district. Such schemes 
^recognised by the Act are either “improvement 55 or “reconstruction 55 
schemes,. 

By s. 40, sub-s. 3, the Minister of Health may by order confirm 
those schemes, and by sub-s. 5 “the ordei^of the Minister when made 
shall have effects as if enacted in this Act. 55 



R. v. Minister of Health, ex parte Taffe , 32 X 

This case comes before the Court on a rule nisi calling upon the 
Minister of Health to show cause why a writ of certiorari should not 
issue to remove into this Court an alleged Order made by the said 
Minister and dated on or about November 23, 1928, purporting to 
confirm a scheme known as “The Liverpool (Queen Anne Street) 
Improvement Scheme, 1928.” 

The answer of the Minister is that this Court has no power to 
canvass his Order, as under s. 40, sub-s. 5, it is of statutory effect; and 
he also contends that if there is power in the Court to discuss it the 
Order is intra vires ; and he further contends that in the circumstances 
of this case the discretionary writ ought not to go in favour of the 
applicant. 

Where an Order has been made by the Minister of Health in pur- 
suance of s. 40, sub-s. 3 of the Act of 1925, it clearly has effect by virtue 
of sub-s. 5 as if in fact it were in the Act, and it may be that it is not 
competent for any Court to inquire into its validity or to question its 
propriety; but it seems to me that whether an Order has been made 
by the Minister so as to become a statutory enactment must be a 
question of fact; it cannot be enough tfiat it should be said that the 
Minister has made an Order under the Act and therefore the jurisdic- 
tion of the Courts is ousted; there must always arise the question 
whether fact the Minister has in fact made an Order, which must 
depend upon the antecedent question whether he Vas in fact ever in 
a position to make the Order which he puqjorts to have made. . . . 

Before ... a local authority approaches theM inis ter of Health with 
regard to an improvement scheme it is necessary: (1) that an official 
representation shall have been mack to the local authority: (2) that 
the local authority shall pass a resolution to the effect that the area is 
an unhealthy area and that an improvement scheme ought to be made 
in respect of the area; (3) that after passing such a resolution they shall 
forthwith proceed to make a scheme for the improvement of the a trcu; 
(4) that maps, particulars and estimates shall accompany such scheme: 
s. 38, sub-s. 1 ; and (5) that as soon as an improvement or reconstruc- 
tion scheme has been prepared the local authority shall publish and 
serve the notices prescribed by s. 39. 

Until these things have all been done the local authority cannot 
approach the Minister, and there is no pow*er in him to make an Order 
on the local authority. His power is limited to confirming with or 
without conditions or modifications the scheme which the local 
authority has prepared. . . . 

The words of sub-s. 5 of s. 40 of the Act are: “The Order of th* 
Minister when made shall have effect as if enacted in this Agtd 

I think that the words “when made” must be given effect to, and 
that they mean in tfiis Acta“when made in sequence with the events 
which the Act prescribes shall lead up to them,” a*id if any of the 



322 Judicial Proceedings 

steps required by the Act are omitted, in my view, the Minister has 
not made an Order within the meaning of sub-s. 3 of 3. 40 (although 
indeed he may have purported to do so), and sub-s. 5 of 3. 40 does 
not apply. . . . 

It appears that on January 18, 1928, the medical officer for the City 
of Liverpool made an official representation to the local authority, the 
result of which was that on March 7 at a council meeting the Common 
Seal . . . was affixed to what was alleged to be a scheme . . . and that 
the alleged scheme was on April 4 sent ... to the Minister of Health. 

The Minister thereupon directed a local inquiry to be held . . . 
and that inquiry took place on May 1, 2 and 3, 1928. On November 
23, 1928, the Minister purported to make an Order. 

Now it is quite clear that the scheme embodied in the Order of 
November 23 is not the scheme which was forwarded ... to the 
Minister on April 4, and it is equally clear that what was forwarded . . . 
was not a scheme at all. And it is equally clear that when the local 
inquiry was held on May 1 , 2 and 3 no valid scheme was in existence 
or was inquired into, and it is further quite plain that after the scheme 
which is embodied in the OrSer of the Minister of November 23 came 
into existence no local inquiry was held. 

It is admitted by the Attorney-General on behalf of the Minister 
of Health that the scheme sent to him on Aj 5 ril 4 was a gthc^me which 
was void and of no effect. ... It has been quite recently held in the 
Court of Appeal, affirming the decision of this Court, that a scheme in 
these terms is not an improvement scheme at all: Rex v. Minister of 
Health , ex parte Davis . 1 ♦The Attorney-General admitted that if a writ 
of prohibition had been applied Tor before the Minister made what 
purports to be an Order on November 23 there would have been no 
answer. 

It seems to me therefore that as a matter of fact certain essential 
steps before the Minister could make an Order were lacking. There 
was no “scheme,” there was no “local inquiry” after a scheme had 
been prepared, and I do not think the time ever came when as a 
matter of fact he could make an Order. 

Having come to the conclusion that the Minister in this case did not 
make an Order and never was in a position in which he could make 
an Order I am faced by the argument that he has purported to make 
an Order and that this Court cannot inquire into the validity of what 
he has done. . . . 

. . . We are bound, I think as part of the common law of England, 
<*o tregtt the Order of the Minister made under sub-s. 5 “when made” 
as statutory — but does that justify us ^in accepting or compel us to 
accept his mere ipse dixit that he has made “an order” ? In my opinion, 
No. If we know, as in this case on the evidence, we clearly do know, 

1 [1929] 1 K.B. 619. 



R- v. Minister of Health, ex parte Taffe , iggo 323 

that he could not have made the Order, I believe that it is my duty 
to say he has not made the Order. . . . 

If once an Order is made it becomes part of the Act of Parliament. 
It has all the strength and virtue of the Act, it is incorporated in it 
and nobody can question it, but in my view it is open to any citizen 
adversely affected to inquire “Is this in truth an Order made under 
the Act or is it something which has without justification obtained the 
semblance of such an Order?” And if upon investigation this Court 
is satisfied that the “thing” which is purporting to be an Order of the 
Minister is not, and cannot in fact be, an Order within the meaning 
of s. 40, sub-s. 3, of the Act, ought it not to say so ? 

For these reasons I think the purported Order should be removed 
into this Court to be quashed. . . . 

Talbot, J. : I regret I am not able to take the same view of this 
case as my brother. . . . 

... We were asked to make this rule for certiorari absolute on the 
ground that inasmuch as the Minister might have been prohibited 
from considering the scheme because he had no jurisdiction under the 
Housing Act, 1925, to confirm it, the Order confirming it is not an 
Order made under the Act, and is therefore ultra vires. In fact the 
Order very materially altered the scheme submitted to the Minister, 
and it is jiot* suggested that as the scheme now stands it is not one 
which might have been lawfully submitted and confirmed. We are 
asked therefore in effect to annul a scheme which, if it had been 
originally drawn in the shape in which «it nowhs, could not have been 
complained of in a Court of law. ... 9 

Lord Hewart, C.J.: I have come to the* conclusion, not without 
doubt and reluctance, that this rule ought to be discharged. ... [It] 
seems to me that the words ofs. 40. sub-s. 5, of the Act, . . . are sufficient 
to cover the irregularities which preceded the making of the Order. . . . 

Rule discharged . 

The applicants appealed. On x\pril 10 the following judgments 
were read: 

Scrutton, L.J. : . . . Before the Court of Appeal, the Attorney- 
General, having reconsidered the matter, did not admit that the pro- 
posed scheme and Order were ultra vires, and it is therefore necessary 
to consider this point, as to which are bound by the principles laid 
down in this Court in Davis's case. . . . Shortly, the Act provides that 
where a housing area is in a condition dangerous to health, it may be 
cleared, and rebuilt or rearranged, that is, improved, by a schem% 
submitted to the Minister of Health and, after a public inquiry; after 
advertisement of the proposals* adopted with or without mocJifications 
and promulgated in an Oilier by the Minister of Health. In Davis's 
case the Corporation of Derby submitted a schem|; which did not 



324 Judicial Proceedings 

include any specific plans for improvement or reconstruction but 
authorised the Corporation, having cleared the whole area, to “sell, 
lease or otherwise dispose of it, as the Council may think fit, or to 
appropriate or use it for any purpose approved by the Minister of 
Health. 5 ’ Lord Hanworth, M.R., states the problem thus in Davis's 
case: “Do these proposals embody a good improvement scheme within 
Part II of the Housing Act* 1925? . . and he answers the question 
thus: “After carefully surveying and examining the sections of Part II 
of the Act, I can find no warrant for holding that a scheme for mere 
demolition without any proposal for replacement or reconstruction, or 
for substitution, is within the Act, 55 and: “For these reasons I have 
come to the conclusion that an ‘improvement scheme 5 or ‘scheme for the 
improvement of the area 5 must contain provisions for the user of the 
land where it has been acquired, and that a proposal to acquire sites 
in an area, leaving open the question as to its subsequent user till 
after the Minister has given expression to the purpose for which it 
shall be used, is not a scheme that complies with the Act. 55 . 

In my opinion, on the principles laid down in Davis's case, such a 
scheme [as that made in Liverpool] does not comply with the provi- 
sions of the Housing Act, and the Corporation and the Minister before 
the Order was made could have been prohibited from proceeding 
with it, as a scheme ultra vires his powders as conferred by the 
Act. One venture! to hope that local authorities and the Ministry 
will note and comply w£th the views of the Courts as to these limita- 
tions of their powers under the existing Act. . . . 

The Parliamentary * history on this particular subject begins in 
1890 . . . [and] shows a gradual increase in the powers of the Ministry, 
and greater freedom from the control of Parliament. The’ strongest 
clause is that repeated in Schedule III, s. 2, of the Housing Act, 1925, 
from Schedule I, s. 2, of the Housing Act, 1909. That clause runs: 
“Sfeall, save as otherwise expressly provided by this schedule, become 
final and have effect as if enacted in this Act; and the confirmation by 
the Minister shall be conclusive evidence that the requirements of this 
Act have been complied with, and that the Order has been duly made 
and is within the powers of this Act. 55 This apparently is intended to 
prevent any question of ultra vires being raised however flagrantly the 
Order in question may exceed the powers of the Act. . . . 

The present Act enables a Minister to take away the property of 
individuals without compensation on certain defined conditions. In my 
view those conditions must be strictly complied with, and only the 
r yery clearest words can give final validity to an Order which does not 
comply ^vith the prescribed statutory conditions. . . . [An] order 
which goes beyond the statutory conditions under which alone it can 
be made, an Order which for that reason, the Minister could be pro- 
hibited from making, if he announced his intention of making it, is 



R. v. Minister of Health, ex parte Yaffe , iggo 325 

not an Order which when made can by reason of s. 40, sub-s. 5, have 
statutory effect. . . . 

I have considered the authorities cited. . . . The case which has 
given me most anxiety is Institute of Patent Agents v. Lockwood 1 . ... It 
was [there] unnecessary for the House of Lords to determine what 
would be the position if the rules had been ultra vires . . . 

. . . But as a matter of constitutional importance, I hope that 
Members of Parliament and Ministers and Parliamentary draftsmen 
will consider whether this form of legislation is really satisfactory. It 
may be convenient for Ministers not to have to consider carefully 
whether the powers they are purporting to exercise are within their 
statutory authority and the powers delegated to them by statute. 
Parliamentary draftsmen may have got into the habit of inserting this 
kind of Star Chamber clause either on the instructions of a Minister 
or as a matter of habit without his instructions. Members of Parlia- 
ment may not trouble to consider what the sections to which they are 
giving! legislative authority really mean, but simply follow the authority 
of the Minister and the Government Whip. But I cannot think it 
desirable that when Parliament delegates authority to affect property 
and persons only if certain statutory conditions are observed, it should 
then pass clauses which, it may be contended, allow their delegates to 
contrav^ie $hese conditions, and make ultra vires orders which cannot 
be controlled by the Courts which have to admirrister the laws of the 
land. 

Greer, L.J., and Slesser. L.J., concurred 7 ^ 

Appeal allowed. 

Appeal to the House of Lords. March £3. ioy*, dLC. 494 

Viscount Dunedin: . . . The first question, and it is a very important 
and far-reaching one, is, therefore, as to the effect of s. 40, sub-s. 5. 
Has it the effect of preventing any inquiry by way of certiorari pro- 
ceeding of a scheme confirmed by the Minister? It is evident that it is 
inconceivable that the protection should extend without limit. If the 
Minister went out of his province altogether, if, for example, he pro- 
posed to confirm a scheme which said that all the proprietors jfi a 
scheduled area should make a per capita contribution of £5 to the 
municipal authority to be applied by them for the building of a hall, 
it is repugnant to common sense that the order would be protected, 
although, if there were an Act of Parliament to that effect, it could 
not be touched. Now the high water mark of inviolability of a con- 
firmed order is to be found in . . . the case of the Institute of Patertt Agents 
v. Lockwood. That case arose* under the Patents, Designs, and Trade 
Marks Act. By that Act t&e Board of Trade was empowered to pass 

1 [1894] A.C. 347. 



326 Judicial Proceedings 

such general rules as they thought expedient for the purposes of the 
Act. Such rules were, “subject as hereinafter prescribed, 5 5 to be of the 
same effect as if they were contained in the Act, and were to be 
judicially noted. The “as hereinafter prescribed 55 was that the rules 
were to be laid before Parliament for forty days, and if, within forty 
days, either House disapproved of any rule, it was to be of no effect. . . . 
The House of Lords held that the provision as to the rules being of like 
effect as if they had been enacted in the Act, precluded inquiry as to 
whether the rules were ultra vires or not. 

Now, there is an obvious distinction between that case and this, 
because there Parliament itself was in control of the rules for forty 
days after they were passed, and could have annulled them if motion 
were made to that effect, whereas here there is no Parliamentary 
manner of dealing with the confirmation of the scheme by the Minister 
of Health. Yet I do not think that that distinction, obvious as it is, 
would avail to prevent the sanction given being an untouchable sanc- 
tion. I think the real clue to the solution of the problem is to be^found 
in the opinion of Herschell, L.G., who says this: “No doubt there 
might be some conflict between a rule and a provision of the Act. 
Well, there is a conflict sometimes between two sections to be found 
in the same Act. You have to try and reconcile them as best you may. 
If you cannot, you have to determine which* is the leading provision 
and which the subordinate provision, and which must give way to the 
other. That would be so with regard to the enactment, and with 
regard to rules which artT to b$ treated as if within the enactment. In 
that case, probably the enactment itself would be treated as the 
governing consideration Ctnd the £ule as subordinate to it.”i 

What that comes to is this: The confirmation makes the scheme 
speak as if it was contained in an Act of Parliament, but the Act of 
Parliament in which it is contained is the Act which provides for the 
framing of the scheme, not a subsequent Act. If therefore the scheme 
as made, conflicts with the Act, it will have to give way to the Act. 
The mere confirmation will not save it. It would be otherwise if the 
scheme had been, per se, embodied in a subsequent Act, for then the 
maxim to be applied would have been “Posteriora derogant prioribus.” 
But^ as it is, if one can find that the scheme is inconsistent with the 
provisions of the Act which authorises the scheme, the scheme will be 
bad, and that only can be gone into by way of proceedings in certiorari. 

I doubt if prohibition will ever be found to be an appropriate 
remedy. ... In the meantime, I only wish to say that I think the 
Court of Appeal, was right in refusing to decide the case on the ground 
taken by the Divisional Court. 

Now there arises the second question, *knd it must be apparent that, 
in accordance with the opinion which I haye just expressed, the limits 

1 [1894] A.C. 360. ' ' * 



R- v. Minister of Healthy ex parte Yqffe , 195° 327 

are narrow within which objections may be found. The respondent . . . 
can only object with success if he can show that the scheme is a scheme 
which is not such a scheme as is contemplated and provided for by 
the Act. . . . 

To turn now to the objections urged. They are really two in number. 
'The first is that the scheme, as submitted to the Minister, did not 
include a lay-out plan, and the second is that in clause 5 of the scheme, 
as originally presented, the Council was given untrammelled powers, 
a defect which the Minister had no right to cure. ... 

My view of the matter is that there is no cut and dried form in 
which a scheme must be propounded. The essentials are that it 
should clearly show the area which, in its present condition, is treated 
as the unhealthy area, and that, further, it should show that the 
municipality have bona fide proposals in sight, but that all particulars, 
and the precise form that reconstruction may take, are left over for the 
decision of the Minister, who can impose such conditions as he desires. 

No\>, when I apply this view to the facts in the present case, so far 
from finding something which resembles Davis's case, I find a very 
definite proposal. . . . It is clear therefore that the Minister was fully 
aware of the general scheme as to how the cleared area was to be 
dealt with, when he granted the confirmation. . . . 

As comfirrhed, the scheme seems to be unassailable. . . . [It] is 
clearly my opinion that, if the Minister finds a good scheme, bur dis- 
figured by a blot upon it which would mcjce it possible to call the 
legality of the scheme in question, lie fs absolutely entitled to remove 
that blot. . . . 

Order of the Court of Appeal reversed ora judgment of the King's Bench 
Division restored . 


DUNCAN v. JONES, 1935 
{1936} I K.B. Si8 

[Mrs. Katherine Duncan was one of four speakers who, it was announced, 
would address a meeting outside an unemployment training centre in Deptford 
on 30 July 1934. She was told by the chief constable of the district that the 
meeting might not take place there, but might be held in another street 
175 yards away. Nevertheless, Mrs. Duncan began her speech, and was at 
once arrested by Inspector Jones. She was convicted at Tower Bridge Police 
Court of obstructing the inspector when in the execution of his duty, 
under the Prevention of Crimes Acts, 1871 and 1885, and fined 405<*Durin£ 
the hearing of her appeal to Lc*idon Quarter Sessions, it was shewn that a 
disturbance had followed a previous meeting, in May 1933, which Mrs. 
Duncan had addres^s^J oi#si&e the training centre. The deputy-chairman of 
quarter sessions, in dismissing the appeal, held that the p#lice had reasonable 



328 Judicial Proceedings 

cause to believe that a breach of the peace would follow the meeting called in 
July, and that it was therefore their duty to prevent the meeting from being 
held.] 

Lord Hewart, C. J. : There have been moments during the argu- 
ment in this case when it appeared to be suggested that the Court had 
to do with a grave case involving what is called the right of public 
meeting. I say “called,” because English law does not recognise any 
special right of public meeting for political or other purposes. The 
right of assembly, as Professor Dicey puts it, is nothing more than a 
view taken by the Court of the individual liberty of the subject. If I 
thought that the present case raised a question which has been held 
in suspense by more than one writer on constitutional law — namely, 
whether an assembly can properly be held to be unlawful merely 
because the holding of it is expected to give rise to a breach of the 
peace on the part of persons opposed to those who are holding the 
meeting — I should wish to hear much more argument before I ex- 
pressed an opinion. This case, however, does not even touch that 
important question. 

Our attention has been directed to the somewhat unsatisfactory 
case of Beatty v. Gillbanks. 1 ... In my view, Beatty v. Gillbanks is apart 
from the present case. . . . 

The present case reminds one rather of the observationsof IJramwell, 
B., in Reg. v. Prebbte , 2 where, in holding that a constable, in clearing 
certain licensed premises of the persons thereon, was not acting in the 
execution of his duty, lie said". “It would have been otherwise had 
there been a nuisance^ or disturbance of the public peace, or any 
danger of a breach of thS peace.”- 

The case stated which we have before us indicates clearly a causal 
connection between the meeting of May 1933, and the disturbance 
which occurred after it — that the disturbance was not only post the 
meeting but was also propter the meeting. In my view, the deputy- 
chairman was entitled to come to the conclusion to which he came 
on the facts which he found and to hold that the conviction of the 
appellant for wilfully obstructing the respondent when in the execution 
of his duty was right. . . . 

Humphreys, J. : I agree. I regard this as a plain case. It has nothing 
to do with the law of unlawful assembly. No charge of that sort was 
even suggested against the appellant. The sole question raised by the 
case is whether the respondent, who was admittedly obstructed, was 
so obstructed when in the execution of his duty. 

0 It does not require authority to emphasise the statement that it is 
the duly of a police officer to prevent apprehended breaches of the 
peace. Here it is found as a fact that the^fespondent reasonably appre- 
hended a breach of the peace. It then, as is rightly expressed in this 
1 [iSfrti 9 Q/B.D. 308. 2 [1858] I. F. & F. 325. 



Duncan y. Jones , igjj 329 

case, became his duty to prevent anything which in his view would 
cause that breach of the peace. While he was taking steps to do so he 
was wilfully obstructed by the appellant. I can conceive no clearer 
case within the statutes than that. 

Singleton, J., concurred. 

Appeal dismissed . 


LIVERSIDGE v. SIR JOHN ANDERSON AND ANOTHER, 1941 

House of Lords , [1942] A.C . 206 

[Regulation 18 B of the Defence (General) Regulations, 1939 stated: “If 
the Secretary of State has reasonable cause to believe any person to be of 
hostile origin or associations or to have been recently concerned in acts pre- 
judicial to the public safety or the defence of the realm or in the preparation 
or instigation of such acts and that by reason thereof it is necessary to exercise 
control over him, he may make an order against that person directing that he 
be detained.” In May 1940, the Home Secretary, Sir John Anderson, made an 
order for the detention of Robert Liversidge. Liversidge applied for particulars 
of the grounds on which the Home Secretary had reasonable cause to believe 
him to he a*person of hostile associations over whom control should be 
exercised.] 

Appeal from the Court of Appeal aiirmin^ an order of the King’s 
Bench Division refusing the appellant’s application for particulars of 
defence in an action by him against the Home Secretary for false 
imprisonment. 

Viscount Maugham: ... I propose, first, to deal with the important 
question of the construction of the words in the regulation, “If the 
Secretary of State has reasonable cause to believe, etc.,” that i£, the 
question whether, as the appellant contends, the words require that 
there must be an external fact as to reasonable cause for the belief, 
and one, therefore, capable of being challenged in a court of law, or 
whether, as the respondents contend, the words, in the context in 
which they are found, point simply to the belief of the Secretary of 
State founded on his view of there being reasonable cause for the 
belief which he entertains. . . . 

. . . The appellant’s counsel truly say that the liberty of the subject 
is involved. They refer in emphatic terms to Magna Carta and the 
Bill of Rights, and they contend that legislation dealing with the 
liberty of the subject must be construed, if possible, in favour 5 of the 
subject and against the Crown. Adopting the language of Lord 
Finlay, L.C., . . . in the cgse of Rex v. Holliday , I hold that the sug- 
gested rule has “no ‘relevance in dealing with an executive measure 



330 Judicial Proceedings 

bv way of preventing a public danger 55 when the safety of the state is 
involved. . . . 

. . . My Lords, I am not disposed to deny that, in the absence of a 
context, the prima facie meaning of such a phrase as C£ if A. B. has 
reasonable cause to believe 55 a certain circumstance or thing, it 
should be construed as meaning “if there is in fact reasonable cause 
for believing 55 that thing and if A. B. believes it. But I am quite unable 
to take the view that the words can only have that meaning. It seems 
to me reasonably clear that, if the thing to be believed is something 
which is essentially one within the knowledge of A. B. or one for the 
exercise of his exclusive discretion, the words might well mean if A. B. 
acting on what he thinks is reasonable cause (and, of course, acting in 
good faith) believes the thing in question. 

In the present case there are a number of circumstances which tend 
to support the latter conclusion. . . . 

... I am of the opinion that the arguments ... in favour of the con- 
struction for which the Attorney-General contends must greasy out- 
weigh any arguments ... on the other side and that his construction 
must prevail. The result is that there is no preliminary question of fact 
which can be submitted to the courts and that in effect there is no 
appeal from ,the decision of the Secretary of State in these matters 
provided only that he acts in good faith. . . * 

In my opinion, the present appeal should be dismissed. . . . 

Lord Atkin: . . . It is surely incapable of dispute that the words 
“if A has X 55 constitute zf condition the essence of which is the existence 
of X and the having of it by A. If it is a condition to a right (including 
a power) granted to A, f whenevej the right comes into dispute the 
tribunal whatever it may be that is charged with determining the dis- 
pute must ascertain whether the condition is fulfilled. In some cases 
the issue is one of fact, in others of both fact and law, but in all cases 
the words indicate an existing something the having of which can be 
ascertained. And the words do not mean and cannot mean “if A 
thinks that he has. 55 “If A has a broken ankle 55 does not mean and 
cannot mean “if A thinks that he has a broken ankle. 55 “If A has a 
right of way 55 does not mean and cannot mean “if A thinks that he has 
a right of way. 55 “Reasonable cause 55 for an action or a belief is just 
as much a positive fact capable of determination by a third party as is 
a broken ankle or a legal right. If its meaning is the subject of dispute 
as to legal rights, then ordinarily the reasonableness of the cause, and 
even the existence of any cause is in our law to be determined by the 
judge and not by the tribunal of fact if the functions deciding law and 
tact a& divided. Thus, having established, as I hope, that the plain 
and natural meaning of the words “has Seasonable cause 55 imports the 
existence of a fact or state of facts and $pt the mere belief by the 
person challenged that the fact or state of facts Existed, I proceed to 



Liversidge v. Sir John Anderson and Another , /py/ 331 

show that this meaning of the words has been accepted in innumerable 
legal decisions for many generations, that “reasonable cause” for a 
belief when the subject of legal dispute has been always treated as an 
objective fact to be proved by one or other party and to be determined 
by the appropriate tribunal. I will go further and show that until 
June or July of this year in connection with this reg. 18B, there never 
has been any other construction even submitted to the courts in 
whatever context the words are found. . . . 

. . . [The] original form of the regulation issued in September, 19.39, 
gave the Secretary of State the complete discretion now contended for: 
“The Secretary of State if satisfied, etc.” But it was withdrawn and 
republished in November, 1939, in its present form. It is not com- 
petent to us to investigate what political reasons necessitated this 
change, but it is at least probable that it was made because objection 
had been taken to the arbitrary power and it was seen that Parliament 
might intervene. What is certain is that the legislators intentionally 
introduced the well known safeguard by the changed form of words. 

. . . No one doubts that the Emergency Powers (Defence) Act, 1939, 
empowers His Majesty in Council to ve£t any minister with unlimited 
power over the person and property of the subject. The only question 
is whether in this regulation His Majesty has done so. 

. . . It*is s«id that it could never have been intended to substitute 
the decision of judges for the decision of the minister, or, as has been 
said, to give an appeal from the minister to the courts. But no one 
proposes either a substitution cr an appeal. A judge’s decision is not 
substituted for the constable’s on the question*of unlawful arrest, nor 
does he sit on appeal from the constable. He*has to bear in mind that 
the constable’s authority is limited and mat he can only arrest on 
reasonable suspicion, and the judge has the duty to say whether the 
conditions of the power are fulfilled. It there are reasonable grounds, 
the judge has no further duty of deciding whether he would Jiave 
formed the same belief any more than, if there is reasonable evidence 
to go before a jury, the judge is concerned with whether he would 
have come to the same verdict. . . . 

I view with apprehension the attitude of judges who on a mere 
question of construction when face to face with claims involving -$he 
liberty of the subject show themselves more executive minded than the 
executive. Their function is to give words their natural meaning, not, 
perhaps in war time leaning towards liberty, but following the dictum 
of Pollock, C.G., in Bowditch v. Batching cited with approval by my 
noble and learned friend Lord Wright in Barnard v. Gorham'* “In a 
case in which the liberty of the subject is concerned, we cannot go 
beyond the natural construction of the statute.” In this country, amid 
the clash of arms, the laws*are not silent. They may be changed, but 
1 [1850]^ Ex. 378. 2 [194T A.C. 37^ 393- 



332 Judicial Proceedings 

they speak the same language in war as in peace. It has always been 
one of the pillars of freedom, one of the principles of liberty for which 
on recent authority we are now fighting, that the judges are no respec- 
ters of persons and stand between the subject and any attempted 
encroachments on his liberty by the executive, alert to see that any 
coercive action is justified in law. In this case I have listened to argu- 
ments which might have been addressed acceptably to the Court of 
Kang’s Bench in the time of Charles I. . . . 

Lord Macmillan: ... In the first place, it is important to have 
in mind that the regulation in question is a war measure. This is not 
to say that the courts ought to adopt in wartime canons of construction 
different from those which they follow in peace time. . . . But in a time 
of emergency when the life of the whole nation is at stake it may well 
be that a regulation for the defence of the realm may quite properly 
have a meaning which because of its drastic invasion of the liberty of 
the subject the courts would be slow to attribute to a peace time 
measure. The purpose of the regulation is to ensure public safety, and 
it is right so to interpret emergency legislation as to promote rather 
than to defeat its efficacy for the defence of the realm. . . . 

In the next place, it is relevant to consider to whom the emergency 
power of detention is confided. The statute has- authorised it to be 
conferred on a Secretary of State, one of the high officers -of State who, 
by reason of his position, is entitled to public confidence in his capacity 
and integrity, who is answerable to Parliament for his conduct in 
office and who has access to -exclusive sources of information. In a 
question of interpreting the scope of a power it is obvious that a wide 
discretionary power may more xeadily be inferred to have been 
confided to one who has high authority and grave responsibility. . . . 

Lord Wright : . . . Ail the courts to-day, and not least this House, 
are as jealous as they have ever been in upholding the liberty of the 
subject. But that fiber ty is a liberty confined and controlled by law, 
whether common law or statute. It is, in Burke’s words, a regulated 
freedom. It is not an abstract or absolute freedom. Parliament is 
supreme. ... I have ventured on these elementary and obvious 
observations because it seems to have been suggested on behalf of the 
appellant that this House was being asked to countenance arbitrary, 
despotic or tyrannous conduct. But in the constitution of this country 
there are no guaranteed or absolute rights. The safeguard of British 
liberty is in the good sense of the people and in the system of repre- 
sentative and responsible government which has been evolved. If extra- 
ordinary powers are here given, they are given because the emergency 
is extraordinary and are limited to the period of the emergency. . . . 

Lord Romer: ... It is also to be noticed that the words of para, i 
are not “if there is reasonable cause to believe,” but, “if the Secretary 
of State has reasonable cause to believe.” It is, of bourse, true, as has 



Liver sidge v. Sir John Anderson and Another , 1941 333 

been said by my noble and learned friend Lord Atkin, that the words 
“if a man has a broken ankle” do not and cannot mean “if he thinks 
he has a broken ankle,” but the regulation is not dealing with the 
state of a man’s body. It is dealing with the state of man’s belief, in 
other words with the state of his thoughts. The words “if a man has a 
belief that a certain thing exists” necessarily mean “if he thinks that 
the thing exists,” and the word “has” may well have been used in the 
regulation to indicate that it is throughout concerned with the impres- 
sion that is created on the mind of the Secretary of State and not with 
the impression they may produce on a court of law'. Not only is the 
belief to be his. The estimate of the reasonableness of the causes that 
have induced such belief is also to be his and his alone. . . . 

Appeal dismissed . 


POINT OF AYR COLLIERIES, LTD. v. LLOYD GEORGE, 1943 

Court of Appeal , [1943] 2 All E.R. 346 

Lord Greene, M.R. : The object of the action out of which this 
appeal arises was to impugn the validity of an Order made on Feb. 5, 
1943, entitled: “The Point of Ayr Collieries Limited Control Order, 
1943.” That Order was made by the Minister of Fuel and Power 
under the Defence (General) Regulations, reg.^5 (4). That paragraph, 
the relevant parts of which I will quote, is as follows : 

If it appears to a competent authority that in the interests of the public 
safety, the defence of the realm, or the eificicnt prosecution of the war, or for 
maintaining supplies and services essential to the life of the community, it is 
necessary to take control on behalf of His Majesty of the whole or any part 
of an existing undertaking, and that, for the purpose ot exercising such control, 
it is expedient that the undertaking or part should be carried on in pursuance 
of an order made under this paragraph, the competent authority may by 
order authorise any person ... to exercise, with respect to the undertaking or 
any part thereof specified in the order, such functions of control on behalf of 
His Majesty as may be provided by the order. . . . 

... I11 the present case the appellants have led a quantity of 
evidence. ... It may be summed up by saying that the appellants’ 
case is that there were no adequate grounds upon which the Minister 
could find as he says he found, namely, that it appeared to him that 
it was necessary to take control. 

If one thing is settled beyond the possibility of dispute, it i2 that, 
in construing regulations of tffis character expressed in this particular 
form of language, it is for tjjie competent authority, whatever Ministry 
that may be, to detide as to whether or not a case for the exercise of 



334 Judicial Proceedings 

the powers has arisen. It is for the competent authority to judge of the 
adequacy of the evidence before it. It is for the competent authority 
to judge of the credibility of that evidence. It is for the competent 
authority to judge whether or not it is desirable or necessary to make 
further investigations before taking action. It is for the competent 
authority to decide whether the situation requires an immediate step, 
or whether some delay mayybe allowed for further investigation and 
perhaps negotiation. All those matters are placed by Parliament in the 
hajjds of the Minister in the belief that the Minister will exercise his 
powers properly, and in the knowledge that, if he does not so do, he 
is liable to the criticism of Parliament. One thing is certain, and that 
is that those matters are not within the competence of this court. It is 
the competent authority that is selected by Parliament to come to the 
decision, and, if that decision is come to in good faith, this court has 
no power to interfere, provided, of course, that the action is one which 
is within the four corners of the authority delegated to the Minister. 

In the present case let me assume that every statement A in the 
appellants 5 evidence is correct, and that there is nothing to be said on 
the other side, in other word's that there are no additional facts out- 
side those set out in the appellants 5 evidence. In my opinion, the 
appellants 5 evidence does not establish any circumstances which give 
this court power to interfere with what is- admittedly ~thc^bona fide 
decision of the Minister. We cannot investigate the adequacy of his 
reasons. We cannot investigate the rapidity or the lack of investigation, 
if it existed, with which* he acted. We cannot investigate any of those 
things because Parliament in its decision has withdrawn those matters 
from the courts and ha^ entrusted them to the Ministers concerned, 
the constitutional safeguard being, as I have said, the supervision of 
Ministers exercised by Parliament. That being so, that is an end of the 
case. The Minister put in no evidence. He was not bound to put in 
any evidence, because his case rested on the basis that, even accepting 
the evidence put in by the appellants, there w^as no case for him to 
answer. In my opinion, that view was perfectly correct. . . . 

Lords Goddard and du Parcq agreed. 

Appeal dismissed. 


RE HURLE-HOBBS, 1944 

i All E.R . , [ 1944] 249 

r Tucker, J. : . . . In the spring of 1940, the Lambeth Borough Council 
had a contract with two years still to run . . . for the collection and 
disposal of house, street and trade refuse in the Borough of Lam- 
beth. . , . The contract had originally been entered into in 1932, and 
had been renewed for a further five years from *1937. 



Re Hurl^Hobbs , 1944 335 

... In February 1940 [the contractor] applied to the Lambeth 
Borough Council for additional remuneration on the ground of 
increased prices due to the war. His application was referred to a 
sub-committee who, after considering a report from the borough 
engineer, recommended the payment of £7,000 in each of the two 
remaining years of the contract. This recommendation was adopted 
by the council on 25 April, 1940, and the sums in question were sub- 
sequently paid to the contractor. At an audit held by the district 
auditor in the autumn of 1942 these items were disallowed as being 
contrary to law, and 48 councillors who took part in the decision to 
make the payments were surcharged in respect thereof. From this 
decision of the district auditor the 48 councillors appeal to this court 
under the Local Government Act, 1933, s. 229. 

Before referring further to the circumstances of this case it is, I 
think, essential to endeavour to ascertain the guiding principles to be 
applied in order to decide whether or not the payments impugned 
were unlawful. In this connection most assistance is, I think, afforded 
by a study of Roberts v. Hopwood. 1 It must however be remembered 
that that was a decision under the Metropolis Management Act, 
1855, s - 62, dealing with wages. ... It must also be kept in mind that 
the payments in question had been made in pursuance jof a decision 
to pay ^ minimum wage of £4 a week for all adult labour, young 
and old, male and female, skilled and unskilled, «it not having been 
shown, to use the words of Lord Sumner, that the women’s work was 
the same or comparable with the mervs, or 'iiat the women inter se 3 
or the men inter se, were engaged in equivalent^ tasks. It was a decision 
held to have been made on social and political grounds rather than 
economic considerations. This being the position, much consideration 
was given to the question whether the word ; "reasonable, 9 9 which did 
not appear in the section, was to be introduced for the purposes of 
construction. . . . [The House of Lords] made it clear that it is not for 
the district auditor, or the court, to substitute their discretion for that 
of the council if there are any grounds upon which the council could 
reasonably have exercised their discretion as they did. . . . 

In the result, their Lordships were of opinion on the facts of that 
case that the council had given what amounted to gratuities to tjjeir 
servants without any compensatory benefits to the ratepayers and 
accordingly had not reasonably exercised their discretion but acted 
arbitrarily. . . . 

In the present case we have to consider two payments made to a 
contractor who was already bound to perform the necessary services 
for the council for the collection and disposal of refuse until fMarch 
1942. It is not suggested that there was any consideration In law for 

these payments, and they # were, therefore, in a sense gratuities and 

* * • 

1 See above, p. 315. 



336 Judicial Proceedings 

voluntary payments. None the less, counsel for the district auditor does 
not contend that such lack of legal consideration will of itself render 
the payments “contrary to law.” He says the payments were unlawful 
because the council considered extraneous matters, ignored much 
relevant matter, acted without real evidence of hardship on the part 
of the contractor or probability that the service would suffer, and 
failed to investigate his claipi with proper care. In considering such 
contentions as these it is desirable to formulate with precision the 
test to be applied, and it is for this reason that I have set out in 
some detail the observations of their Lordships in Roberts v. Hopwood . 

It appears to me that that case, although dealing with wages and a 
different section of the governing Act, indicates the broad principles 
which should be applied in the present case. It appears to me that the 
proper test to be applied in the circumstances of this case is contained in 
the following questions: (i) Did the councillors who have been sur- 
charged apply their minds to the relevant considerations in deciding 
to make these payments? (ii) Was there material upon which they 
could reasonably come to the conclusion that there was a danger that 
without the payments the services might be impaired ? (iii) W as there 
material upon which they could reasonably fix the amount at £7,000? 
Their bona jidss is not in question, so I omit what would otherwise be a 
material matter for consideration. These questions may perhaps be 
put more shortly thus: Was their decision arrived at solely in the 
interests of the ratepayers upon reasonable materials, or was it a mere 
arbitrary decision to pAy away the moneys of the ratepayers as a 
gratuity to the contractor so that he should suffer no diminution of 
his profits? € * 

Judged by this test I find that the propriety of the original contract 
and its price has never been questioned; that prices had admittedly 
risen to the extent of the percentages shown in the borough engineer’s 
report upon which the council acted ; that it was a time of war when 
it is more than usually difficult to foresee the probable course of events ; 
that the council had received a letter from the contractor . . . which, 
I think, contains an implication that failing any increase he may no 
longer be able to maintain his services . . . ; that the contractor occupied 
a unique position, and that failing him the only alternative would 
have been for the council hastily to improvise some system of their own 
at a time of labour shortage and rising prices; that the council had 
received a favourable recommendation from their experienced borough 
engineer; that they had received an undertaking from the contractor 
that he would ask for no further increase (including increases due to 
rises in w^ges) for the remainder of the^contract period; and that the 
town clerk had advised them that such payments were lawful. 

Taking all these matters into consideration and having regard to 
[various affidavits^, all of which go to show that fhese gentlemen were 



Re 


Hurl^-Hobbs, 194.4 


337 


applying their minds to the proper question, namely, the interests of 
the ratepayers and the likelihood of the services being impaired, I 
think there was material upon which the councillors could reasonably 
come to the conclusion that the services might suffer, and that they 
did in fact apply their minds solely to this consideration. 

... I pass to consider the district auditor’s reasons as set out in his 
report, to all of which I have given j^reful consideration before 
arriving at my decision already indicated. His reasons may be sum- 
marised as follows: (i) There was no consideration in law for the pay- 
ments. (ii) The contract had not been frustrated, (iii) The contractor 
had not made out a prima facie case for increase, (iv) No evidence was 
provided as to the contractor’s costs, (v) The council neglected to 
refer to their own records which would have shown that by March 
1940 the services were diminishing in volume, (vi) Failure to consult 
other borough councils with wffiom the contractor had contracts, (vii) 
Failure to ask for expert advice from the borough treasurer, (viii) The 
council never in fact apprehended any danger of the service breaking 
down, and were never in real doubt as to the contractor’s financial 
stability. » 

As to those, (i) and (ii) were not relied upon by counsel for the 
district auditor as sufficient per se to justify the disallowance. This is 
import^it, because it appears as if the district auditor took the view 
that these matters would of themselves have justified his decision apart 
from the other circumstances upon which he relied, (iii) to (vii) 
inclusive, deal with matters which are* all relevant to the issue, but I 
do not think it necessary to deal with them sgiath?i in detail, because 
after giving them due weight as against ihe*considerations previously 
set out, I have come to the conclusion that they do not turn the scale 
in favour of the disallowance. As to (iii), I ought perhaps to say that 
I am not in agreement with the district auditor’s conclusion, (v) I 
reject. The figures show that by March 1940 there had been a^slight 
drop in refuse collected, but the curve shown in the graph put in 
evidence was quite in accordance with seasonal fluctuations in previous 
years. ... I can see no reason at all why the council should have 
anticipated any appreciable variation in the volume of the services to 
be rendered in the future, and I think this argument was borj of 
wisdom acquired from after events. 

The lack of evidence as to costs, and the failure to consult other 
borough councils, are in my view much the most serious objections. 
The absence of information as to costs, persisting until the present 
time, I have already referred to. The failure to consult the other 
boroughs was, I think, an unfortunate mistake, but if bona jide\ annot, 
in my view, be considered as Tata! to the contentions of the applicants. 
The borough treasurer, although not actually consulted, was throughout 
conversant with wlia’t was taking place, and never raised any objection. 



338 Judicial Proceedings 

With regard to (viii) , I do not think it necessary that the councillors 
should actually anticipate a complete breakdown in the services or the 
bankruptcy of the contractor before sanctioning any increase. If the 
district auditor took this view, I think he was applying too severe a 
test. If he did not take such a narrow view, but is intending merely to 
say that the councillors had no material before them upon which they 
could reasonably anticipate ^.ny likelihood of some impairment in the 
services, then I take a different view on the evidence before us. 

in the result, I am of opinion that this appeal succeeds, and that the 
disallowances and surcharges should be quashed. 

Viscount Caldecote, L.G.J., and Atkinson, J., concurred. 

Appeal allowed. 


BLACKPOOL CORPORATION v. LOCKER, 1947 

* 

Court of Appeal , [ 1948 ] / K.B. gdg 

[The Defence (General) Regulations, 1939, reg. 51, provided: “(1) A com- 
petent authority, if it appears ... to be necessary or expedient to do so [for 
any purpose specified in s. 1 (1) of the Supplies and Services (Transitional 
Powers) Act, 1945] may take possession of any 5 land, and may £ive such 
directions as appear . to be necessary or expedient in connection with the 
taking of possession. ... (5) A competent authority may, to such extent and 
subject to such restriction^ as it thinks proper, delegate all or any of its func- 
tions under paras. (1) to ($) of the regulation to any specified persons or class 
of persons.” ' r 

The Minister of Health delegated his power to take possession of houses to 
local authorities by means of 4 ‘circulars,” which contained conditions, among 
others, that (i) no chattel might be requisitioned, and the requisition notice 
should give direction as to the disposal of chattels; and (ii) where the owner, 
withirf 14 days, notified his intention of occupying his house, the authority 
should not proceed further in the matter unless it were satisfied that this 
would result in serious under-occupation. 

A prospective buyer of the defendant’s house in Blackpool paid a deposit on 
18 June 1946. Two days later, a requisition notice was served on the defendant 
under reg. 51 (1), stating that the town clerk of Blackpool had taken posses- 
sion of the premises. This notice contained no direction as to the disposal of 
the defendant’s furniture. The prospective buyer withdrew his offer; and on 
26th June the defendant occupied the house himself, notifying the town clerk 
that he intended to live there. On 29th July, in the course of correspondence, 
the town clerk stated that the Minister of Health wished him to emphasise 
that tho* defendant had committed an offence under the Defence Regulations, 
that he war* a trespasser, and that the premies must be vacated at once. On 
20 August, the Minister purported to confirm the town clerk’s decision, and 
on 28 November the Minister purported to ratify gill thq, town clerk’s actions 
in the matter.] 



Blackpool Corporation v. Locker , igpy 339 

Appeal by the defendant from an order of the Blackpool County 
Court, granting the plaintiffs an injunction restraining the defendant 
from continuing to occupy his house, and awarding nominal damages 
for trespass. The county court judge held that, while the original 
requisitioning of the house was unauthorised, subsequent letters from 
the Minister had validated the town clerk’s excess of authority. 

Scott, L.J. : This appeal raises several., important questions about 
the delegated legislation enacted by the Ministry of Health. . . . 
There is one quite general question affecting all such sub-delegated 
legislation and of supreme importance to the continuance of the*rule 
of law under the British constitution, namely the right of the public 
affected to know what that law is. That right was denied to the 
defendant in the present case. . . . 

The delegation of powers, both executive and legislative, was 
effected by what the Minister of Health styled “circulars.” The 
instruments of delegation were justly entitled to that name as they 
were gn their face addressed to all councils with powers of local 
government above the level of parish councils. . . . 

Before I approach the history of theuvays in which in the present 
case the corporation, on the one hand, and the Ministry on the other, 
sought to use or misuse the provisions of the circulars, jt is necessary 
to consoler their true leg&i effect. . . . The startling feature of the whole 
story before the court is that both the corporation and the officers of 
the Ministry of Health, when writing the letters in the correspondence 
and taking the views and actions therein appearing, radically mis- 
understood their own legal rights and duties, and appear to have been 
oblivious of the rights of the private householder. That the Minister’s 
“circulars” were nor mere executive directions but delegated legisla- 
tion with statutory force, conferring powers on the corporation which 
they would not otherwise have possessed and imposing on them duties 
for the reasonable protection of the individual house-owner, does not 
seem to have entered the minds of either the corporation or the Minis- 
try of Health. ... I cannot help thinking that much of the legal mis- 
conceptions in the minds both of the Ministry of Health and of the 
corporation about the extent and scope of powers remaining vested in 
the Minister after he had delegated almost all of them to the corpora- 
tion was due to the mistaken belief that he was, under para. (1), still 
retaining a general power of supervision. . . . 

The Rules Publication Act, 1893, and the Statutory Instruments 
Act, 1946, which repealed the former and re-enacted an amended 
edition of it, had publicity as well as control by Parliament as a main 
object; but both have what seems to me the grave defect of n< 9 t being 
applicable to any but primar^ delegated legislation. They are both ex- 
pressly limited to such delegated legislation as is made under powers 
conferred by Act of ^Parliament, whether on His Majesty in Council or 



34 ° 


Judicial Proceedings 


on a Minister of the Crown. Such primary delegated legislation has . . . 
to be printed forthwith by the King’s Printer and published as a 
statutory rule or order, etc. : but for delegated legislation made under 
powers conferred by a regulation or other legislative instrument not being 
itself an Act of Parliament , there is no general statutory requirement of 
publicity in force to-day. Of such secondary or “sub-delegated” 
legislation as I call it for clarity, neither the general public . . . nor 
the legal adviser of an affected member of the public, however directly 
he^jnay be affected, has any source of information about his rights, to 
which he can turn as of right and automatically. The modern extent 
of sub-delegated legislation is almost boundless; and it seems to me 
vital to the whole English theory of the liberty of the subject, that the 
affected person should be able at any time to ascertain what legislation 
affecting his rights has been passed under sub-delegated powers. So 
far as I know, this is the first case where that aspect of delegated 
legislation has come before the courts for direct consideration. 

. . . The defendant’s solicitor had the greatest difficulty in ascertain- 
ing from either the corporation or the Ministry what his client’s rights 
were. . . . [In] order to bring c 5 ut clearly the really monstrous character 
of some of the contentions and allegations of both corporation and 
Ministry, I want to analyse a little the legal relationships created by 
the circulars as sub-delegated legislation . .«• . ; because *it is,«Dnly on 
understanding wha<: those legal relations were that one realises the 
full gravity of this almost incredible case . . . 

. . . [The] circular? contained . . . ministerial legislation with 
statutory force, transferring to the local authorities concerned the 
Minister’s legal power to Override the common law rights of individual 
members of the public, for the purposes defined in the circulars, and 
limited by their conditions. In any area of local government, where the 
Minister had by his legislation transferred such powers to the local 
authority, he, for the time being, divested himself of those powers, 
and/ out of the extremely wide executive powers, which the primary 
delegated legislation contained in reg. 51, para. 1 had conferred on 
him to be exercised at his discretion, retained only those powers 
which in his sub-delegated legislation he had expressly or impliedly 
reserved for himself. The constitutional justification for the delegation 
permitted by para. 5 was obviously that local needs and opportunities 
relevant to the housing problem would necessarily be infinitely more 
within the local knowledge of the local authorities than in the Ministry 
whether central or regional. The letter of 28 November presumably 
s^nt upon direction from London was, in my opinion, ultra vires the 
Minister, and legally a nullity. 

My conclusions on the whole case are as follows: (1) The original 
attempt at requisition on 20 June was inoperative for these reasons: 
(a) because the $otice purported to requisition the house and its 



Blackpool Corporation v. Locker 5 1947 341 

contents, whereas the corporation was by the terms of the sub-delegated 
legislation forbidden to requisition furniture . . (b) because a similar 

illegal usurpation of power was attempted in the corporation’s omission 
to have the furniture contents put into a separate room at the time of 
requisition, or immediately after it. Thus, the notice, combined with 
the taking of the keys colore officii , involved an actual taking possession 
of both house and furniture, which in lav.' was a trespass by the cor- 
poration. (2) On the notification by the defendant on 22 June and 
again on 27 June, of his intention himself to occupy, the corporation 
ought to have taken their hands right off (“shall not proceed further 
in the matter”). The house was never in fact “occupied” by the cor- 
poration and when the defendant entered, he entered an unoccupied 
house, of which the corporation never had any such possession in law 
as would make him then or thereafter a trespasser. . . . 

Appeal allowed . 


FRANKLIN AND OTHERS v. MINISTER OF TOWN AND 
COUNTRY PLANNING, 1947 

House of Lords , [49^#] A.C. 8 y # 

[The Minister of Town and Country Planning, after a public local inquiry 
had been held, made an order under the New Towns Act, 1946. The appellants 
applied to the High Court to have the order quashed, on the grounds: u (i) 
That the said order is not within the powers of the New Towns Act, 1946, or 
alternatively that the requirements of the said Act have not been complied 
with and the interests of the (appellants) have been thereby substantially pre- 
judiced in that — (A) before considering the objections of the (appellants) the 
Minister stated that he would make the said order, and was thereby Jdased 
in any consideration of the said objections; and (B) the Minister did not before 
making the said order cause a public local inquiry to be held with respect 
thereto; and (2) that the New Towns Act, 1946, impliedly requires that the 
objections of the (appellants) should be fairly and properly considered by the 
Minister and that the Minister should give fair and proper effect to the result 
of such consideration in deciding whether the said order should be made find 
that such implied requirements were not complied with.” Henn Collins, J., 
quashed the order, holding that, though the Minister had not acted ultra 
vires, he had not fulfilled his duty to act judically in considering the objections. 
The Court of Appeal reversed this decision, holding that the appellants had 
not discharged the onus of proving that the Minister was biased when he 

made the order.l * 

• • 

Lord Thankerton : My Lords, the appellants, who are the owners 
and occupiers of dwelling-houses and land situate at Stevenage, chal- 
lenge the validity of the Stevenage New Town (De#ignation) Order, 



342 Judicial Proceedings 

1946, made on November n, by the respondent, under the New 
Towns Act, 1946, which had received the Royal Assent on August 1, 
1946. This challenge is made under s. 16 of the Town and Country 
Planning Act, 1944, which provides by sub-s. X (b) that the court “if 
satisfied that the order or any provision therein ... is not within the 
powers of this Act or that the interests of the applicant have been 
substantially prejudiced by any requirement of this Act or of any 
regulation made thereunder not having been complied with, may 
quash the order or any provision contained therein . . . either generally 
or in so far as it affects any property of the applicant. 55 The relevant 
provisions of the New Towns Act, 1946, are as follows: “1. (1) If the 
Minister is satisfied, after consultation with any local authorities who 
appear to him to be concerned, that it is expedient in the national 
interest that any area of land should be developed as a new town by a 
corporation established under this Act, he may make an order desig- 
nating that area as the site of the proposed new town. (2) The provi- 
sions of sch. I to this Act shall have effect with respect to the procedure 
to be followed in connexion with the making of orders under this 
section; and ss. 16 and 17 of the Town and Country Planning Act, 
1 944, . . . shall apply to an order made under this section as they apply 
to an order made under s. 1 of that Act. 55 The relevant provisions of 
sch. I as to orders under s. 1 are as follows?- “1 : Where* the ^Minister 
proposes to make order under s. 1 of this Act, he shall prepare a 
draft of the order describing the area to be designated as the site of the 
proposed new town. . . r . 3. If*any objection is duly made to the pro- 
posed order and is not>withdrawn, the Minister shall, before making 
the order, cause a public local inquiry to be held with respect thereto, 
and shall consider the report of the person by whom the inquiry was 
held. 4. Subject to the provisions of the last foregoing paragraph the 
Minister may make the order either in terms of the draft or subject to 
such modifications as he thinks fit: Provided that, except with the 
consent of all persons interested, the Minister shall not make the order 
subject to a modification including in the area designated as the site 
of the proposed new town any land not so designated in the draft 
order. 55 . . . 

There does not appear to be much dispute as to the facts, but a great 
deal rests on the proper inference to be drawn from these facts. . . . On 
January 21, 1946, a committee appointed by the respondent, . . . and 
the Secretary of State for Scotland, known as the “Reith Committee 55 
. . . recommended: “Arrangements should be made for setting up 
immediately a public corporation for the development of a new town 
at Stevenage to proceed with the necessary work in advance of legisla- 
tion. 55 The New Towns Bill was introduced by the respondent in the 
House of Commons on April 17, 1946^ and was ordered to be 
printed. . . . OnrMay 6, 1946, the respondent attended and spoke at 



Franklin and Others v. Minister of T.C.P . , 1947 343 

a public meeting in Stevenage Town Hail, called to consider a pro- 
posal for designating an area of land in the neighbourhood of Stevenage 
as the site of a new town. The appellants base their case mainly on the 
statements made in an advance press notice issued by the respondent 
prior to the meeting, and statements made by the respondent in the 
course of his speech, as evidence that the respondent had by that time 
completely made up his mind that the* designation of Stevenage as 
a new town would be carried through, whatever was said at the 
meeting or subsequently. 

The New Towns Bill received a second reading in the House of 
Commons on May 8, 1946, and received the Royal Assent on August 
1, 1946. The statutory duty of carrying out the designation of new 
towns thus became imposed on the respondent as Minister of Town 
and Country Planning. Under para. 1 of sch. I to the Act, the respon- 
dent prepared, on August 3, 1946, a draft order for the designation of 
the Stevenage area. . . . Objections were thereafter received, and, on 
the instructions of the respondent, a public local inquiry was held by 
Mr. Morris on October 7 and 8, 1946, and Mr. Morris made a report 
to the respondent on October 25, 1946! . , , On November 8, 1946, 
the respondent caused a letter to be sent to the objectors, in which, 
after stating that he had considered Mr. Morris’s repcfrt, and that, 
after giving c*areful consideration to the various submissions made to 
him on behalf of interested local authorities and statutory under- 
takers and by private individuals affected by the proposals, he had 
decided to make the order. The respondent, in fourteen paragraphs, 
dealt in turn with the main objections raisedNMie appellants sought to 
maintain that, in para. 13, the respondent had not effectively dealt 
with the objections raised by the Metropolitan Water Board, the Lee 
Conservancy Board and the Lee Conservancy Catchment Board as to 
water supply and sewage disposal, which the appellants contended 
were vital to the practicability of the whole proposal, but only stated^that 
he had appointed a consultant to examine the possibilities of a scheme 
which will apply to a much wider area than that of the immediate 
vicinity of Stevenage. In my opinion this contention . . . was correcdy 
disposed of by Lord Oaksey, L.J., [in the Court of Appeal], who 
pointed out that none of these authorities had ever suggested thas it 
was an entirely unpracticable scheme, and that it really raised a ques- 
tion of expense. ... It appears to me that the respondent’s letter of 
November 8 not only does not support the appellants’ contention, but 
that it is evidence that the Minister had properly considered the 
objections. * * 

. . . Henn Collins, J., upheld the first contention of the present 
appellants on the ground that the respondent’s functions in con- 
sidering the report 0 of.Mr. Morris’s inquiry were quasi-judicial, 
that he did not consider the objections with an open mind, and that 



344 


Judicial Proceedings 

“he did not consider or decide the question aye or no should the order 
be confirmed with an open mind, but that he meant to confirm it 
whatever the force of the objections might be, trusting that some 
solution would be found. 5 ’ The learned judge based his view on the 
respondent’s speech of May 6, 1946, and on para. 13 of the respon- 
dent’s letter of November 8. As regards the former, he says: “If I 
am to judge by what he said at the public meeting which was held very 
shortly before the Bill, then published, became an Act of Parliament, 
I eould have no doubt but that any issue raised by objectors was fore- 
judged. . . . But when he made that speech ... he had no administra- 
tive functions in relation to the Act in question, for the Act had not 
then been passed. Though that was his attitude two days before the 
Bill received the second reading, it is upon the objectors to prove that 
the Minister was in a like mind, or at least had not an open mind, 
from and after, at latest, the inception of the public inquiry, which 
was held in October, 1946.” As regards the letter of November 8, 
1946, the learned judge says: “In this case . . . the Minister h^s dealt, 
in writing, with the substance of the objections — with one exception, 
namely, that directed to the' difficulties of water supply and sewage 
disposal. It is obvious that those difficulties must be met before the 
scheme can r go through. The Minister acknowledges that they have 
not been met, and that he is taking advice as to how it# can Jae done. 
Non constat that arfy way will be found. And yet, with that fundamental 
problem still outstanding, the Minister confirms his order. How can it 
be said that he weighed the objection with an open mind when he 
acknowledges that he# did not and does not know the force of it? 
When, therefore, I ask myself whether the objectors have satisfied me 
that from and after the inception of the inquiry up to and including 
the moment at which the Minister decided to confirm his order, he 
had not an open mind, my answer is that they have.” It is clear that 
had the learned: judge appreciated, as was pointed out in the Court 
of Appeal, that no witness had suggested that the scheme could not 
go through, unless the suggested difficulties of water supply and 
sewage disposal had been met, and had he realised that he had put a 
wrong construction on para. 13 of the letter of November 8, he would 
no t only have been left without any evidence that from and after the 
inception of the inquiry up to and including the confirmation of the 
order the respondent had not an open mind, but he would have had 
the evidence of the letter . . . that the respondent had so considered 
the report, and he should also have taken account of the unchallenged 
offidayit of the respondent on January 21, 1947, referred to by the 
Court of^Appeal that “before causing ^the said order to be made, I 
personally carefully considered all the objections made by the objec- 
tors including the present applicants, together with the submissions 
made and evidence given on their behalf as appearing in the said 



Franklin and Others v. Minister of T.C.P., 345 

transcript. I also carefully considered the report of the said Arnold 
Morris. 55 ... In that aspect of the evidence it appears that the learned 
judge in view of his reasoning, as above quoted, would not have 
quashed the order. The Court of Appeal accepted this view of the 
reasoning of the learned judge, and, while assuming that his inference 
from the respondent’s speech of May 6, that the respondent had not 
then an open mind and that any issue raised by the objectors was fore- 
judged was well-founded, held that the learned judge’s statement of the 
evidence of the objectors as to water supply and sewage disposals was 
incorrect, it not having been suggested that the scheme was entirely 
impracticable, and on his erroneous construction of the letter of 
November 8, set aside the decision of Henn Collins, J., and restored 
the Stevenage New Town (Designation) Order of the present 
respondent. 

My Lords, I agree with the decision of the Court of Appeal, but I 
am of opinion that an incorrect view of the law applicable in this case 
was taken by the learned judge, and I feel bound, despite the assump- 
tion of its correctness by the Court of Appeal, to examine the correct- 
ness of the learned judge’s view as to the proper inference from the 
respondent’s speech of May 6. . . . In my opinion, no judicial, or 
quasi-judicial, duty was imposed on the respondent, and any reference 
to judicial duty, or bias, is irrelevant in the present case. The respon- 
dent’s duties under s. 1 of the Act and sch. I thereto*are, in my opinion, 
purely administrative, but the Act prescribes certain methods of, or 
steps in, discharge of that duty. It is devious that, before making the 
draft order, which must contain a definite proposal to designate the 
area concerned as the site of a new 7 * town, the respondent must have 
made elaborate inquiry into the matter and have consulted any local 
authorities who appear to him to be concerned, and obviously other 
departments of the Government, such as the Ministry of Health, would 
naturally require to be consulted. It would seem, accordingly, that the 
respondent was required to satisfy himself that it was a sound scheme 
before he took the serious step of issuing a draft order. It seems clear 
also, that the purpose of inviting objections, and, where they are not 
withdrawn, of having a public inquiry, to be held by someone other 
than the respondent, to whom that person reports, was for the further 
information of the respondent, in order to the final consideration of the 
soundness of the scheme of the designation; and it is important to note 
that the development of the site, after the order is made, is primarily 
the duty of the development corporation established under s. 2 of the 
Act. I am of opinion that no judicial duty is laid on the respondent ins 
discharge of these statutory duties, and that the only question is 
whether he has complied with the statutory directions to appoint a 
person to hold the public jm^uiry, and to consider that person’s report. 
On this contention of the appellants no suggestion ts made that the 



gq6 Judicial ■ Proceedings 

public inquiry was not properly conducted, nor is there any criticism 
of the report by Mr. Morris. In such a case the only ground of chal- 
lenge must be either that the respondent did not in fact consider the 
report and the objections, of which there is here no evidence, or that 
his mind was so foreclosed that he gave no genuine consideration to 
them, which is the case made by the appellants. Although I am unable 
to agree exactly with the view of the respondent’s duty expressed by the 
learned judge, or with some of the expressions used by the Court of 
Appeal in regard to that matter, it does appear to me that the issue 
was treated in both courts as being whether the respondent had gen- 
uinely considered the objections and the report, as directed by the Act. 

My Lords, I could wish that the use of the word “bias” should be 
confined to its proper sphere. Its proper significance, in my opinion, 
is to denote a departure from the standard of even-handed justice 
which the law requires from those who occupy judicial office, or those 
who are commonly regarded as holding a quasi-judicial office, such as 
an arbitrator. . . . But, in the present case, the respondent having no 
judicial duty, the only question is what the respondent actually did, 
that is, whether in fact he did genuinely consider the report and the 
objections. 

Coming n6w to the inference of the learned judge from the respon- 
dent’s speech on May 6, that he had not then a mind open tc^convic- 
tion, . . . [it] seems'' probable that the learned judge’s mind was influ- 
enced by his having already held that the respondent’s function was 
quasi-judicial, which ^ould i^,ise the question of bias, but, in any 
view, I am clearly of opinion that nothing said by the respondent was 
inconsistent with the discharge of his statutory duty, when subsequently 
objections were lodged, and the local public inquiry took place, fol- 
lowed by the report of that inquiry, genuinely to consider the report 
and the objections. The only passages in the speech quoted in the 
appellants’ case are contained in the third quotation I have made 
“I want to carry out in Stevenage a daring exercise in town planning. 
[Jeers.) It is no good your jeering: it is going to be done. . . . After 
all this new town is to be built in order to provide for the happiness 
of sixty thousand men, women and children. . . . The project will go 
forward, because it must go forward. . . The only two additional 
passages . . . were . . . “In anticipation of the passage of the Bill — 
and I have no doubt that it will go through,” and . . . “But we have 
a duty 7 to perform, and I am not going to be deterred from that duty. 
While I will consult as far as possible all the local authorities, at the 
end, if people become fractious and unreasonable, I shall have to 

carry out-my duty (Voice: Gestapo!)” My Lords, these passages 

in a speech, which was of a political nature, and of the kind familiar 
in a speech on second reading, demonstrate (i)_the speaker’s view 
that the Bill woidd become law, that Stevenage was a most suitable 



Franklin and Others v. Minister of T.C.P., 1947 347 

site and should be the first scheme in the operation, and that the 
Stevenage project would go forward, and (2) the speaker’s reaction to 
the hostile interruptions of a section of the audience. In my opinion, 
these passages are not inconsistent with an intention to carry out any 
statutory duty imposed on him by Parliament, although he intended 
to press for the enactment of the Bill, and thereafter to carry out the 
duties thereby involved, including the. Consideration of objections 
which were neither fractious nor unreasonable. I am, therefore, of 
opinion that the first contention of the appellants fails, in that j* hey 
have not established either that in the respondent’s speech he had fore- 
judged any genuine consideration of the objections or that he had not 
genuinely considered the objections at the later stage when they were 
submitted to him. 

The remaining contention of the appellants is that the inquiry held 
by Mr. Morris did not comply with the statutory requirements for such 
a local public inquiry, in respect that no evidence in support of the 
draft oj^er was led on behalf of the respondent. ... As I have already 
pointed out, the object of the inquiry is further to inform the mind of 
the Minister, and not to consider any is§ue between the Minister and 
the objectors; that is for the Minister thereafter to consider and decide. 
Accordingly, I am of opinion that this contention of the appellants 
also failfc • • 

In my opinion, the appeal should be dismissed sftid the judgment of 
the Court of Appeal should be affirmed . . . 

Lords Porter, Uthwatt, du Parcq and Norirfend, concurred. 

Appeal dismissed . 


R. v, TRONOH MINES, LTD., AND OTHERS, 1952 * 

Central Criminal Courts [7952] 1 An E.R. 697 
[After writs had been issued for the General Election of 1951, a company 
published in a national newspaper an advertisement headed “Tronoh- 
Malayan Tin Group of Companies. Interim statement on dividend limita- 
tion”, which contained criticisms of the Labour Party’s financial policy and 
included these words: “The coming general election will give us all the 
opportunity of saving the country from being reduced, through the policies of 
the Socialist government, to a bankrupt ‘Welfare State’. We need a new and 
strong government with Ministers who may be relied upon to encourage 
business enterprise and initiative. . . .” The company, the secretary, ?jnd the 5 
proprietors of The Times newspaper were jointly charged with ^unlawfully 
incurring expenses with a view to promoting or procuring the election of a 
candidate other than the I^at^ur candidate at the parliamentary election to 
be held in the constituency in which the company had* its office and the 



348 Judicial Proceedings 

newspaper was published, contrary to s. 63 (1) (b) and s. 63 (5) of the Repre- 
sentation of the People Act, 1949. On a second count, it was alleged that the 
expenses were incurred with a view to promoting or procuring the election 
of the Conservative candidate in this constituency.] 

McNair, J.: On the view I take of the construction of s. 63 (1) of 
the Representation of the People Act, 1949, this is not a case which I 
can properly leave to jury. s . 

... So far as is material, s. 63 (1) provides: 

-u _ 

“No expenses shall, with a view to promoting or procuring the election of a 
candidate at an election, be incurred by any person other than the candidate, 
his election agent and persons authorised in writing by the election agent on 
account — -{a) of holding public meetings or organising any public display; or 
(b) of issuing advertisements, circulars or publications; or (c) of otherwise 
presenting to the electors the candidate or his views or the extent or nature 
of his backing or disparaging another candidate. . . .” 

... It seems to me that (c) necessarily imports that the particular 
items specified in ( a ) and ( b ) must also, if they are to be caught by 
the prohibition, be items which have the effect of “presenting to the 
electors the candidate or his views or the extent or nature of his back- 
ing or disparaging another candidate,” If this result had not been 
intended, it seems to me that para. ( c ) would have run : “of presenting 
to the electors, whether by means specified in para, (a) or para. ( b ) 9 
or in any other way, the candidate or his views ...” Furthermore, 
the Interpretation Actr 1889, 35. 1 (1), provides that, unless the con- 
text otherwise require^, words importing the singular include the 
plural, and I think that 'the context here does necessarily require that 
references to the election of a candidate at an election means a can- 
didate at a particular election and not candidates at elections 
generally. . . . 

I h|tve reached the decision that on the evidence no reasonable jury 
could find that the advertisement in question was presenting to the 
electors of any constituency any particular candidate, still less pre- 
senting to the electors of the cities of London and Westminster either 
the Conservative candidate or any candidate other than a Socialist 
candidate or his views. 

... If expenses incurred on account of the items specified in (a), ( b ) 
and ( c ), being supported in writing by the election agent, are per- 
missible and authorised by the election agent, then, by virtue of 
sub-s. (2) the person who incurs them has to make a return to the 
Returning officer of the amount of those expenses, stating the election 
at which and the candidate in whose support they were incurred. . . . 
[It] is clear that [the prescribed] formas inappropriate for making a 
return of expenses of the kind with which we are here concerned. 
There is no way^in which the expenditure, bn the hypothesis I have 



R. v. Tronoh Mines , 1992 349 

stated, incurred in relation to all elections can be apportioned for the 
purpose of any particular return for a particular election. That con- 
sideration alone seems to me to lend strong support to the view that 
the section is not intended to prohibit expenditure incurred on adver- 
tisements designed to support, or having the effect of supporting, the 
interest of a particular party generally in all constituencies, at any 
rate at the time of a general election, and not supporting a particular 
candidate in a particular constituency. * . . 

Verdict: “ Not Guilty 55 on both counts . 


Zbg 




SECTION V 


The Parties and the Electorate 




THE CONSTITUTION OF THE LABOUR PARTY, 1918 


i.— NAME 

The Labour Party. 

2. — MEMBERSHIP 

The Labour Party shall consist of all its affiliated organisations, 1 
together with those men and women who are individual members of 
a Local Labour Party and who subscribe to the Constitution and 
Programme of the Party. 

3.— PARTY OBJECTS 

NATIONAL 

(a) To organise and maintain in Parliament and in the country a 
Political Labour Party, and t® ensure the establishment of a Local 
Labour Party in every County Constituency and every Parliamentary 
Borough, with suitable divisional organisation in the separate consti- 
tuencies of Divided Boroughs; 

(b) Wo co-operate with the Parliamentary Committee of the Trades 

Union Congress, or other Kindred Organisations* in joint political or 
other action in harmony with the Party Constitution and Standing 
Orders; * * 

(c) To give effect as far as may be practicable to the principles from 
time to time approved by the Party Conference; 

(d) To secure for the producers by hand or by brain the full fruits of 
their industry, and the most equitable distribution thereof that may 
be possible, upon the basis of the common ownership of the means of 
production and the best obtainable system of popular administration 
and control of each industry or service; 

(e) Generally to promote the Political, Social, and Economic 
Emancipation of the People, and more particularly of those who 
depend directly upon their own exertions by hand or by brain for the 
means of life. 


INTER-DOMINION 

(/) To co-operate with the Labour and Socialist organisations in the 
Dominions and the Dependencies with a view to promoting the pur- 
poses of the Party and to take common action for the promotion of^t 
higher standard of social and # economic life for the working^population 
of the respective countries. 

1 Trade Unions, Sc^iajist «Sd%ieties, Co-operative Societies, Trades Councils, and 
Local Labour Parties. 



354 


The Parties and the Electorate 


INTERNATIONAL 

(g) To co-operate with the Labour and Socialist organisations in other 
countries and to assist in organising a Federation of Nations for the 
maintenance of Freedom and Peace, for the establishment of suitable 
machinery for the adjustment and settlement of International Disputes 
by Conciliation or Judicial Arbitration, and for such International 
Legislation as may be practicable. 


4. — PARTY PROGRAMME 

(a) It shall be the duty of the Party Conference to decide, from time 
to time, what specific proposals of legislative, financial, or administra- 
tive reform shall receive the general support of the Party, and be pro- 
moted, as occasion may present itself, by the National Executive and 
the Parliamentary Labour Party, provided that no such proposal shall 
be made definitely part of the General Programme of the Party unless 
it has been adopted by the Cpnferenct by a majority of not less than 
two-thirds of the votes recorded on a card vote. 

(b) It shall be the duty of the National Executive and the Parlia- 
mentary Labour Party, prior to every General Election, to define the 
principal issues forjhat Election which in their judgment should be 
made the Special Party Programme for that particular Election Cam- 
paign, which shall be issued as a manifesto by the Executive to all 
constituencies where a *Labour Candidate is standing. 

(c) It shall be the du't^ of every Parliamentary representative of the 
Party to be guided by the decision of the meetings of such Parlia- 
mentary representatives, with a view to giving effect to the decisions 
of the Party Conference as to the General Programme of the Party. 


5.— THE PARTY CONFERENCE 

1. The work of the Party shall be under the direction and control 
of the Party Conference, which shall itself be subject to the Constitu- 
tion and Standing Orders of the Party. The Party Conference shall 
meet regularly once in each year, and also at such other times as it 
may be convened by the National Executive. 

2. The Party Conference shall be constituted as follows: — 

~ (a) Trade Unions and other societies affiliated to the Party may 
send one delegate for each thousand members on which fees are paid. 

(b) Local Labour Party delegates may be either men or women 
resident or having a place of business in the constituency they represent, 
and shall be appointed as follows : — 



The Constitution of the Labour Party , igi 8 355 

In Borough and County Constituencies returning one Member to 
Parliament, the Local Labour Party may appoint one delegate. 

In undivided Boroughs returning two Members two delegates may 
be appointed. 

In divided Boroughs one delegate may be appointed for each 
separate constituency within the area. The Local Labour Party within 
the constituency shall nominate and the Central Labour Party of the 
Divided Borough shall appoint the delegates. In addition to such 
delegates, the Central Labour Party in each Divided Borough may 
appoint one delegate. * 

An additional woman delegate may be appointed for each constitu- 
ency in which the number of affiliated and individual women members 
exceeds 500. 

(c) Trades Councils under Section 8, clause c, shall be entitled to one 
delegate. 

(< d ) The members of the National Executive, including the Treasurer, 
the members of the Parliamentary Labour Party, and the duly- 
sanctioned Parliamentary Candidates shall be ex officio members of the 
Party Conference, but shall, unless delegates, have no right to vote. 


, 6. — THE, NATIONAL EXECUTIVE * 

♦ 

(a) There shall be a National Executive of the Party consisting of 
twenty-three members (including the "JTreasur^r) elected by the Party 
Conference at its regular Annual Meeting, in such proportion and 
under such conditions as may be set out in the Standing Orders for the 
time being in force, and this National Executive shall, subject to the 
control and directions of the Part}’ Conference, be the Administrative 
Authority of the Party. 

(, b ) The National Executive shall be responsible for the conduct of 
the general work of the Part}'. The National Executive shall ta£e -steps 
to ensure that the Party is represented by a properly constituted 
organisation in each constituency in which this is found practicable; 
it shall give effect to the decisions of the Party Conference ; and it shall 
interpret the Constitution and Standing Orders and Rules of the Party 
in all cases of dispute subject to an appeal to the next regular Annual 
Meeting of the Party Conference by the organisation or person 
concerned. 

(c) The National Executive shall confer with the Parliamentary 
Labour Party at the opening of each Parliamentary Session, and also at 
any other time when the National Executive or the Parliamentary 
Party may desire such conferSnce, on any matters relating to the work 
and progress of the Party, or to the efforts necessary to give effect to 
the General ProgrtimmS of the Party. 



The Parties and the Electorate 


356 

7.— PARLIAMENTARY CANDIDATURES 

(a) The National Executive shall co-operate with the Local Labour 
Party in any constituency with a view to nominating a Labour Candi- 
date at any Parliamentary General or Bye-Election. Before any Parlia- 
mentary Candidate can be regarded as finally adopted for a constitu- 
ency as a Candidate of the Labour Party, his candidature must be 
sanctioned by the National Executive. 

Jb\ Candidates approved by the National Executive shall appear 
before their constituencies under the designation of “Labour Candi- 
date 55 only. At any General Election they shall include in their Election 
Addresses and give prominence in their campaigns to the issues for 
that Election as defined by the National Executive from the General 
Party Programme. If they are elected they shall act in harmony with 
the Constitution and Standing Orders of the Party in seeking to 
discharge the responsibilities established by Parliamentary practice. 

(i c ) Party Candidates shall receive financial assistance for Section 
expenditure from the Party funds on the following basis: — 

Borough Constituencies, £Tper 1,000 electors. 

County Divisions, £1 15 s. per 1,000 electors. 

c 8.— AFFILIATION FEES 

1. Trade Unions, Socialist Societies, Co-operative Societies, and 
other organisations directly affiliated to the Party (but not being 
affiliated Local Labour* Parties or Trades Councils) shall pay 2 d. per 
member per annum to the Central £arty Funds with a minimum of 30s. 

The membership of a Trade Union for the purpose of this clause 
shall be those members contributing to the political fund of the Union 
established under the Trade Union Act, 1913. 

2. .The affiliation of Trades Councils will be subject to the following 
conditions : — 

(a) Where Local Labour Parties and Trades Councils at present 
exist in the same area, every effort must be made to amalgamate these 
bodies, retaining in one organisation the industrial and political func- 
tions, and incorporating the constitution and rules for Local Labour 
Parties in the rules of the amalgamated body. 

(b) Where no Local Labour Party is in existence and the Trades 
Council is discharging the political functions, such Trades Council 
sjjall be eligible for affiliation as a Local Labour Party, providing that 
its rules aij$ title be extended so as to include Local Labour Party 
functions. 

(c) Where a Local Labour Party and a Trades Council exist in the 
same area, the Trades Council shall be eligible to Be affiliated to the 



The Constitution of the Labour Party , igi 8 357 

Local Labour Party, but not to the National Party, except in such 
cases where the Trades Council was affiliated to the National Party 
prior to November 1st, 1917. In these cases the Executive Committee 
shall have power to continue national affiliation on such conditions as 
may be deemed necessary. 

[d) Trades Councils included under Section (c) shall pay an annual 
affiliation fee of 30J. ^ * 

Local Labour Parties must charge individual enrolled members, 
male a minimum of is. per annum, female 6d. per annum; and of. 
per member so collected must be remitted to the Central Office*with 
a minimum of 30^., as the affiliation fee of such Local Labour Party. 

In addition to these payments, a delegation fee of 5 jt. to the Party 
Conference or any Special Conference may be charged. 

[Constitution as adopted by the Party Conference held in London on February 
26th , igi8.) 


THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY AND THE COALITION, 1922 

Report of a meeting of Conservative Members of the House of Commons at the 
** % Carlton Club on 19 October , ig22. 

The Chairman (Mr. Austen Chamberlain): ... I do not think 
it is necessary to read any of the letters of apology [for absence], 
except one which I have received from Lord Cfurzon . . . : — 

My dear Chamberlain, , * 

I have been a good deal concerned at the idea of members of the 
House of Lords, and particularly myself, as leader, being present, and very 
likely being called upon to speak, at the meeting of the members of the House 
of Commons at the Carlton Club tomorrow. As you may have learned, con- 
siderable feeling has been aroused at the limitation of the meeting to members 
of one House of Parliament alone, and although the situation is quite clear 
as it affects yourself and your leadership of the party in your House, since you 
are appealing to the body by which you were elected, it is different as regards 
myself and my House. 

I have received several protests from peers against my taking part, as leader 
of the House of Lords, in a meeting from which peers are excluded, and seeking 
to influence by anything that I may say the members of the House of Lords, 
and I think in the circumstances that it will be better that I should abstain. 

I am, 

Yours very sincerely, 

CuRZON OF KjEDLE^TONE. * 

My lords and gentlemen: T have asked you and my friends in the 
Cabinet to meet me because it was you who elected me as your leader 
in the House of C commons, # and in so doing practically appointed me to 



The Parties and the Electorate 


358 

my present position. I have asked you to meet at this moment because 
it is a moment fraught with grave issues for our party and for our 
country. . . . 

For months past the task of Government has been increasingly 
difficult, and the strain placed upon your leaders has been almost 
indefinitely increased by the failure of unanimity of support from the 
party behind them. ... * >P 

It is not only in foreign policy that criticism has become increasingly 
frgquent and increasingly difficult. Whatever might have happened, 
you all know that an election could not be long postponed; and instead 
of occupying our energies in healing our differences and trying to unite 
as firmly and as closely as possible our ranks in view of the coming 
fight, the party has been discussing in groups and sections what course 
it will pursue, what support it will give to its leaders, what notice it 
shall give to its allies. 

No Government can be conducted with credit to itself or with 
security for the country in the continuation of circumstances such as 
those. There often comes a moment in the lives of parties and of 
Governments when they mu»t take a critical decision. Either they 
must hang on and go steadily downhill more and more discredited to 
eventual disaster, or they take the bolder resolve and they seek from 
those who put them in their position a rene # wal of the jnanda^e that 
they hold. We are at one of those moments now, and for my friends 
and myself I say we have come to the conclusion that it is impossible 
to continue as we are £nd th^t we must seek the earliest appeal to 
those who are our masters. 

I want to ask you to Consider under what condition and in what 
form that appeal is to be made. What are the forces and the policies 
which stand face to fane with one another upon which the country 
must give its verdict ? . . . The old party issues are dead ; new problems, 
new phases, new issues confront us, to-day, new issues, new problems 
of a 'different character. They are not the old political questions so 
often fought out in our long political history; they are social and 
economic questions. There is, for the first time, by quite the second 
largest party in the State, a direct challenge to all these fundamental 
principles of society which hitherto both the great parties in the State 
have encouraged. . . . 

That is the real issue that has to be fought out at the next election. 
The real issue is not between Liberals and Conservatives. It is not 
between the old Liberal policy and the old Conservative policy. It is 
between those who stand for individual freedom and those who are 
for the* socialisation of the State; those who stand for free industry 
and those who stand for nationalisation* with all its controls and all 
its inefficiencies. And it is at this moment ... I am bidden to give 
notice to quit to the allies with whom I have wosktfd. 



The Conservative Party and the Coalition , 1922 359 

My friends and I have carefully . . . considered this situation. . . . 
To us it appears that this is not a moment to break with old friends, 
and scatter the forces which can be united in the defence of a cause 
which is common to us all. . . . 

Under the circumstances, my friends and I have come to the con- 
clusion that the advice which, on the eve of an election, we ought to 
tender to you is that we should maintain the closest, most cordial 
co-operation in the constituencies and throughout the fight, and after 
the fight, with the men who have stood by us in the difficult years. \^e 
think, we hope, that every Unionist and Conservative, every LiSeral- 
Coalitionist, should stand under his own party name and should 
retain his party loyalty unimpaired. . . . 

... If the result of such co-operation gives to the two parties so 
co-operating the victory, a reconstruction of the Government as the 
result of the changes of the election wall, of course, be necessary ; but I 
submit to you . . . that what the nature of that reconstruction is to be 
cannot^nd ought not to be determined until the result of the election 
is known. ... 

... It is you, deriving your authority from the electors, who con- 
ferred my authority upon me and made me what I am, and in such a 
matter as this I can accept no appeal from you to any ofcher authority 
than-dpat of die electors* who are the masters of us all. 

Mr. Stanley Baldwin: ... it is my duty at-this moment to put 
before you . . . the views of the minority in the Cabinet — that is, of 
myself and of Sir Arthur Boscawen. . . ** 

. . . The Prime Minister ... is a dynamic fierce, and it is from that 
very fact that our troubles, in my, opinion, hrise. A dynamic force is 
a very terrible thing ; it may crush you. but it is not necessarily right. 

It is owing to that dynamic force, and that remarkable personality, 
that the Liberal Party, to which he formerly belonged, has been 
smashed to pieces; and it is my firm conviction that, in time, the same 
thing will happen to our party. . . . We have already seen, during our 
association with him in the last four years, a section of our party hope- 
lessly alienated. I think that if the present association is continued, . . . 
the process must go on inevitably until the old Conservative Party is 
smashed to atoms and lost in ruins. ... 0 

Captain Pretyman: ... I propose to move a resolution . . . : 

That this meeting of Conservative Members of the House of Commons 
declares its opinion that the Conservative party, whilst willing to co-operate 
with Coalition-Liberals, fights the election as an independent party, with its 
own leader and its own programme. ^ ~ 

Mr. Bonar Law: . . . This is a question in regard to which our 
system . . . has hitherto^ gone on this principle: that the party elects a 
leader, and that ftieTeader chooses the policy, an^ if the party does 



The Parties and the Electorate 


360 

not like it, they have to get another leader. The question that has to 
be decided at this meeting is not something that affects the House of 
Commons alone. It is something which affects every Unionist in every 
constituency. If it were possible, even at this last moment (I am afraid 
it is not), I would say: “Let Mr. Chamberlain and those who think 
with him, and those who disagree with him, submit to the party the 
question: 4 Shall we or shall we not continue the Coalition ? 5 and let 
us abide by their decision . 55 If that is possible, I would gladly adopt 
that. But if it is not possible, then what is the position ? I am, I suppose, 
more of a party man than some people. I was leader of our party for 
a number of years. During the war I really did not think much of the 
party, but I did always have at the back of my mind, the earnest desire 
to keep it as a united party, whatever happened. . . . Now we are 
faced with, I am sorry to say, an inevitable split, and I am afraid the 
suggestion I have put forward cannot be adopted. I confess frankly 
that in the immediate crisis in front of us I do personally attach more 
importance to keeping our party a united body than to winding the 
next election. I would not say that if,I thought there were a da